How to Address Gender Inequality in British Pensions

Patricia Hollis

in Britain's Pensions Crisis

Published by British Academy

Published in print October 2006 | ISBN: 9780197263853
Published online February 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191734281 | DOI:

Series: British Academy Occasional Papers

How to Address Gender Inequality in British Pensions

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Pensions have been constructed by men in full-time work for other men in full-time work; but most pensioners are women. The basic state pension (BSP) still assumes that women will derive their state pensions as dependants of their husbands. And modern occupational pensions (OP) still assume that women will derive private pensions from full-time work and full-time saving continued without interruption over forty years. Neither the model of the BSP nor of the OP fits the world women inhabit. Women are so at risk of poverty in retirement due to three main factors: fluid family forms, flexible labour markets, and increased longevity. Barely 20 per cent of women enter retirement with a full national insurance pension in their own right.

Keywords: women; pensions; basic state pension; occupational pensions; poverty; retirement; family; labour markets; longevity; national insurance pension

Chapter.  4375 words. 

Subjects: Political Theory

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