Understanding Gender Disparities in Retirement Planning


Recent findings by Standard Life reveal significant differences in how men and women in Ireland approach retirement planning. These differences in engagement and confidence levels have a substantial impact on overall retirement readiness. Here’s an overview of the general attitudes towards retirement planning based on gender.


Key Statistics




Feeling anxious about finances



Sought independent financial advice (lifetime)



Feeling confident about their pension



Concerned about ability to retire



The data illustrates that women are more anxious about finances and less likely to seek financial advice compared to men. Men, on the other hand, are more confident in making the most of their pensions.


Yearly Trends

In 2023, women’s preparedness for retirement saw a notable decline compared to 2022. Financial preparedness dropped from 28% to 23%, mental readiness from 55% to 47%, and social preparedness from 48% to 41%. Men also showed a decrease, but their figures remained higher: 40% felt financially prepared, 56% mentally ready, and 49% socially prepared. These statistics highlight a persistent gender gap in retirement readiness and a general decline in confidence for both genders, underscoring the need for enhanced financial advising and support services.


Employment and Pension Coverage

Women’s employment continued to rise in 2023, increasing at twice the rate of men’s. Despite this, the growth in pension coverage was minimal. Men’s pension coverage remained at 68%, while women’s saw a slight increase to 65%. This gap in pension engagement highlights ongoing financial disparities between genders.


Financial Wellbeing and Anxiety

Financial pressures weigh more heavily on women, with 62% feeling anxious about their finances compared to 42% of men. Women are more affected by cost-of-living pressures and debt, and 30% report lacking long-term financial plans, such as pensions, savings, or investments, particularly those in their forties.


Planning and Advice Disparities

Men are more likely to seek independent financial advice, with 49% having done so in their lifetime and 35% within the last five years. Only 32% of women report having sought financial advice. However, a promising trend is seen among Gen Z women, with 42% consulting a financial adviser, indicating increased financial engagement among younger women.


Confidence in Retirement Readiness

There is a significant confidence gap in retirement preparedness, with men consistently feeling more secure in their planning. This year, 55% of men felt confident in maximizing their pensions, compared to 44% of women. Women’s preparedness has declined by more than 6% across all indicators—social, mental, and financial—compared to the previous year.


Seeking Advice

The differences in retirement readiness between men and women highlight the urgent need for targeted support and education to empower women in their retirement planning. Addressing these disparities is crucial for ensuring that everyone can approach retirement with confidence and security. For those seeking to understand their retirement planning better or to start taking action, F J Hanly & Associates offers expert advice and tailored services to meet your unique needs.

get in touch

contact details

Recommended Posts