SINGLE MOTHERS REACH RETIREMENT WITH A PENSION POT OF £18,300, ONE THIRD THE SIZE OF THE UK AVERAGE WOMAN, SAYS NOW: PENSIONS
According to a study by NOW: Pensions single mums face huge barriers to saving, resulting in a private pension pot approximately one-third of UK women’s average. Barriers to full-time work mean that single mothers have less savings opportunities, made worse by the continuing economic downturn resulting from the Covid-19 crisis. The research shows single mothers reach retirement age with a private pension worth £18,300 – just 36% of the average woman’s savings of £51,000, and only 12% of the average man’s of £156,500.
Whilst 69% of single mothers rely on friends and family to help out with childcare (according to further research by NOW pensions), almost 1 in 3 mums with a child aged 14 and under reduce their working hours because of childcare needs. And recently lockdown has made it even harder for single mothers to work as many have had to juggle schoolwork, chores around the home, as well as their own work, without any help from family and friends.
The combination of higher levels of part-time work, lower levels of pay and greater demands on their income as the sole earner in their household, means that they are likely to find it difficult to save adequately for retirement.
Now point out, that single mums are essentially "locked out to of auto-enrolment which means they are missing out on vital employer contribution." They highlight that "Single mothers in part-time work earn on average just £6,922 annually, compared to £9,976 for women in general. That means the typical part-time working woman is not auto-enrolled into a workplace pension, as pension saving is only triggered once earning £10,000 a year...
"Of the 13.4 million employed women in the UK, 23% (3 million) do not meet the qualifying criteria for auto-enrolment compared to 12% of men. This rises to 31% of single mothers, or 341,000....If auto-enrolment contributions were to start from £1 of earnings, this would increase the number of employed single mothers who are eligible by 9.3% - bringing an additional 300,000 single mothers into workplace pensions."