Journal of the ...Volume 11 Supplementary i... The Gender Gap ...
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Review Article

The Gender Gap in Pensions: How Policies Continue to Fail Women

Jay GinnJay Ginn

Jay Ginn was a Senior Researcher and Associate of the Centre for Ageing and Gender at Surrey University from 1990 to 2005. Her research was mainly concerned with the economic circumstances of older people and how these are influenced by gender, lifecourse events, marital status, class and ethnicity. Books include: Gender and Later Life (1991 with Sara Arber), Connecting Gender and Ageing (1995, co-edited with Sara Arber), Women, Work and Pensions (2001, co-edited with D. Street and S. Arber), Gender, Pensions and the Lifecourse (2003).

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Liam Fosteremail-imageLiam Foster

Liam Foster is a Senior Lecturer in Social Policy and Social Work at the University of Sheffield. His principal research interests include theories of ageing, pensions, extending working lives and social inequalities. Foster is a former Managing Editor of Social Policy and Society. Recent works include ‘Gender and auto-enrolment in Ireland: Lessons from the UK’, Social Policy and Administration (2021) (with D. Wijeratne and E. Mulligan) and ‘Bryman’s Social Research Methods’ (2021) (with T. Clark, L. Sloan and A. Bryman).

email-image l.foster@sheffield.ac.uk

Abstract

A large gender gap in UK pensions has been persistent, yet generally ignored by governments. The neoliberal preference since 1980 to reduce state spending on welfare has limited the redistributive potential of state pensions, to the detriment of the low paid and those whose lifecourse is characterised by discontinuous and part-time employment, mainly women. Claims of intergenerational conflict have repeatedly hit headlines over the last 50 years, providing an excuse for cutting state pensions, most recently suspending the Triple Lock. This article examines the gap between older women’s and men’s personal income, distinguishing state and private pensions and assessing change over time. It is concluded that suitably generous state pensions can reduce the gender gap, while an emphasis on expanding private pensions exacerbates it.

Keywords

gender pensions gaplifecourseemploymentstate pensionsprivate pensionsparental roles
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Published on: 10 August 2023
Volume: 11
Issue: Supplementary issue 2
Article ID: 223
Pages:223 - 242
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© The author(s) 2023.
Cite this article
Ginn with Foster (2023), ' The Gender Gap in Pensions: How Policies Continue to Fail Women ', Journal of the British Academy, 11(Supplementary issue 2): 223 https://doi.org/10.5871/jba/011s2.223

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The Gender Gap in Pensions: How Policies Continue to Fail Women

Jay GinnJay Ginn

Jay Ginn was a Senior Researcher and Associate of the Centre for Ageing and Gender at Surrey University from 1990 to 2005. Her research was mainly concerned with the economic circumstances of older people and how these are influenced by gender, lifecourse events, marital status, class and ethnicity. Books include: Gender and Later Life (1991 with Sara Arber), Connecting Gender and Ageing (1995, co-edited with Sara Arber), Women, Work and Pensions (2001, co-edited with D. Street and S. Arber), Gender, Pensions and the Lifecourse (2003).

,
Liam Fosteremail-imageLiam Foster

Liam Foster is a Senior Lecturer in Social Policy and Social Work at the University of Sheffield. His principal research interests include theories of ageing, pensions, extending working lives and social inequalities. Foster is a former Managing Editor of Social Policy and Society. Recent works include ‘Gender and auto-enrolment in Ireland: Lessons from the UK’, Social Policy and Administration (2021) (with D. Wijeratne and E. Mulligan) and ‘Bryman’s Social Research Methods’ (2021) (with T. Clark, L. Sloan and A. Bryman).

email-image l.foster@sheffield.ac.uk