Gender Pay Gap Impacting Women In Retirement

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Many people look forward to retirement and the prospect of living out their golden years comfortably. However, studies found that the majority of South Africans will not have enough money saved up to retire comfortably.

 


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It was revealed that only 6% of people living in South Africa have saved enough money to retire comfortably. Comfortable retirement is defined as getting a pension of at least 75% of their final working salary.

Head of Marketing at Discovery Invest Jennifer Arendse says that women will be more affected by this as they earn less than men. This challenge is exacerbated when both individuals have lower education levels where men earn as much as double what women earn.

Arendse believes that women need to negotiate their remuneration more as it is easy to fall into the trap of believing what they are currently receiving is fair.

“The main thing women need to start doing is speak up and say I know I'm not earning enough. What are we doing to close the gap between men and female remuneration?” said Arendse.

Another contributing reason why women retire with less than men is because women have shorter careers than men. Women spend time away from work to take care of their children and elderly parents and this could see them lose as much as ten years worth of time accumulating savings.

Arendse says better conditions are needed on an institutional level to accommodate women when they are required to take time off from work to look after their families.

They add that individuals need to spend more time saving for retirement and do this with investment companies that incentivise long term saving. They recommend people invest in a diverse portfolio consisting of stocks, bonds, savings and property to close the gap and prepare for retirement.

 

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