The gap between women and men’s retirement savings stems from discrimination as far back as childhood, new research suggests.
Parents and grandparents are much more likely to save into a pension for boys than for girls, and the gap has worsened in recent years, according to HM Revenue & Customs.
By the time women reach 50, they have on average only half the pension savings, £56,000 compared to £112,000 saved by men, acccording to research by Aegon.
In 2016-17, 13,000 girls aged 15 or under had money paid into a pension on their behalf compared to 20,000 boys, according to the statistics from a Freedom of Information request submitted by Hargreaves Lansdown.
Parents, grandparents, relatives, and even family friends, can pay into a pension on behalf of a child. The maximum amount that can be contributed to a child’s pension is £2,880 per year, tax relief added at 20pc means the government tops it up to a maximum of £3,600 per year.
The number of children subscribing to pensions in 2016-17 had increased by five and a half times to 33,000 in only four years.
The data shows that the gender pensions gap for children is gradually increasing.
In 2012-13, 50pc of children aged 15 or under who had a pension fund (around 6,000) were boys, but this increased to 54pc (of 11,000) in 2013-14, 56pc in 2014-15, 58pc the following year, and then 60pc in 2016-17.