Women open more accounts but save less than men

New research by the Halifax has revealed that whilst women open more savings accounts than men, their contributions are falling behind. 

According to their figures for July 2012 women opened 57% of all new Fixed Term Accounts, 53% of Instant Access accounts and 55% of tax-free ISAs.  However, their average opening balance for variable rate accounts was 17% lower than that of men’s at £7,664 compared to £8,936.  The difference in the opening balance for fixed rate accounts was also lower but only marginally so with male customers opening at £7,516 and female savers at £7,426.

Worryingly, figures by the Prudential also indicate that women are less likely to save for their retirement than men with 40% of women indicating they do not have a pension, compared to only 30% of men. 

Where women do have a pension, they also put significantly less into them.  Figures show that women belonging to defined contribution schemes paid only £90 a month, compared with men's £170.  Women in private pensions also paid in less at around £185 a month compared with the £330 contributed by men.

Whilst there is no doubt women need to step up their savings contributions, one possible reason for the gap could be due to inequality in earnings.  Last year’s Office for National Statistics Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE) showed that a gap of 24% in gross annual earnings between the sexes with men earning £28,400 for full time work whereas women only earned £22,900.

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