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• Employers are contributing less to women’s pensions than men: a result of the gender pay gap, career breaks for women and men working in larger businesses
• This could result in a £47,000 shortfall for women by the end of their working life
• Since 2013, women have received, on average, 1% of their salary less in employer pension contributions each year when compared to men
• The inaugural Zurich Workplace Savings Barometer analysed over 250,000 pension plans.

London, 22 February 2017 – There is a ‘gap’ between the amount that men and women receive in employer pensions contributions, which if left unaddressed could result in a shortfall of £47,000 by the end of a woman’s working life, according to the inaugural Zurich Workplace Savings Barometer.

Last year, on average, men under the age of 35 received £217 more in employer pension contributions than females of the same age. Furthermore, between 2013 and 2016, men have benefitted from pension contributions of 7.8% of salary each year from their employers compared with 7.0% for women.

This difference comes on top of the gender pay gap and meant that the value of the employer pension contribution was £3,495 for men and £2,489 for women – a difference of over £1,000 over the four year period. With wage growth[1] taken into account, this difference could amount to a shortfall for women of £46,689 by the end of a working life.[2] The analysis of over 250,000 pension plans, breaking down by age, gender, employee and member contributions alongside income, is one of the largest ever studies of workplace savings.

The findings lift the lid on three factors contributing to the shortfall in women’s pension pots: the gender pay gap leads to a lower value of employer contribution as a percentage of salary, women are still more likely to take career breaks to raise a family, and men typically work in sectors with more established, or more generous pension schemes.

Rose St Louis of Zurich Insurance, commented: “The impact of the gender pay gap on women’s pension pots is no secret, but this difference in the contributions that they receive from their employer presents a serious – and growing – problem. The ‘triple effect’ of smaller salaries, career breaks for women and lower contribution rates needs to be addressed: we can’t ignore a £47,000 shortfall. Workplace engagement and guidance has a central role to play in helping women make the most of their saving potential while they are working full time, but it is now crucial that greater focus is placed on ensuring that this gap is not allowed to grow any further.”

There were also more men in the UK-wide analysis (154,999 vs. 95,262 women), indicating that, even before the gap in salaries and contributions levels has an effect, there are significantly more men receiving pension contributions in the first place. This is likely to be impacted by the auto enrolment eligibility rules which mean that employees earning less than £10,000 per annum are not automatically enrolled into their workplace scheme.

To help consumers prepare for the future and achieve the lifestyle they want in retirement, Zurich has launched a series of new tools to help people imagine, plan and manage their own financial well-being. To access these go to:

Gap between male and female employer contributions by age in 2016
Under 35 £217
34-44 £594
45-54 £1,287
55-64 £1,680


Notes to editors

For media enquiries, please contact:
Kate Cunningham and Leanne Tsang
020 7864 4138 /
020 7360 7856 /


• Based on analysis of 250,261 workplace personal pension plans held with Zurich between 2013 and 2016, excluding:
o All those aged over 65
o All those with an income below £10,000
o All those with fixed contributions
o All those with an income over £2m
• The gap between male and female employer contributions last year was calculated
• Wage growth of 0.025 over an assumed working life of 42 years
• The calculated shortfall does not take into account investment returns

Zurich in the UK
Zurich provides a suite of general insurance and life insurance products to retail and corporate customers.

We supply personal, commercial and local authority insurance through a number of distribution channels, and offer a range of personal protection, pensions and investment policies available through financial intermediaries. We also provide protection and pensions policies for the corporate market available through employee benefit consultants.

Specialist student and young person insurance provider Endsleigh has been wholly-owned by Zurich since 2007 and remains the only insurance brand recommended by NUS. Endsleigh offers a range of motor, home, travel and gadget cover and more information can be found here.

Based at around 20 locations across the UK - with large sites in Birmingham, Cheltenham, Farnborough, Glasgow, London, Swindon and Whiteley - Zurich employs approximately 6,000 people in the UK.

All of the companies listed below are part of a group of companies of which the ultimate parent company is Zurich Insurance Group Ltd, a company registered in Switzerland No. CH- Zurich is a trading name of this group of companies.

Zurich Insurance plc is a public limited company incorporated in Ireland Registration No.13460. Registered office: Zurich House, Ballsbridge Park, Dublin 4, Ireland.

The UK Branch of Zurich Insurance plc is registered in England and Wales No.BR7985. Registered office: The Zurich Centre, 3000 Parkway, Whiteley, Fareham, Hampshire PO15 7JZ.

Zurich Insurance plc is authorised by the Central Bank of Ireland and authorised and subject to limited regulation by the Financial Conduct Authority. Details about the extent of our authorisation by the Financial Conduct Authority are available on request.

Each of the following companies has its registered office at The Grange, Bishops Cleeve, Cheltenham GL52 8XX.

Zurich Financial Services (UKISA) Limited is registered in England and Wales No. 01860680.

Zurich Assurance Ltd is registered in England and Wales No.02456671. Zurich Assurance Ltd is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority. Zurich and Sterling are used as trading names of Zurich Assurance Ltd.

Sterling ISA Managers Limited is registered in England and Wales No.02395416 and is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Zurich is used as a trading name of Sterling ISA Managers Limited.

Zurich Intermediary Group Limited is registered in England and Wales No. 01909111 and is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

Zurich Investment Services (UK) Limited is registered in England and Wales No. 03383730 and is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

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