Today the International Longevity Centre-UK (ILC-UK) launches a pioneering snapshot of the life of older women in the UK and highlights how older women are still suffering from the legacy of a pension system designed historically around men and largely by men.
An intimate and revealing collection of essays penned by high profile authors entitled ‘Has the sisterhood forgotten older women?’ reveals the secret struggles and financial challenges for older women as they age.
Included within the 38 essays are contributions from Ros Altmann (Independent pensions expert and former Government policy adviser) and Anthony Thompson (Head of Public Affairs for Scottish Widows), both of whom highlight a ‘forgotten generation’ of older women who have found themselves in a pensions ‘black hole’.
Baroness Greengross, Chief Executive of the ILC-UK said:
“We are witnessing a generation of women who will be living out their later years in poverty through no fault of their own as a result of historic discrimination in the state and private pension arena. We need to make sure the next generation of women do not fall into the same trap.
While we welcome the proposed flat- rate state pension which should herald significant improvements for future generations of women, we need to make sure we repay the contribution older women made both in the public and private sphere and ensure they have financial security and dignity in later life.”
Ros Altmann, in her essay entitled ‘How older women lose out in the pensions arena’, urges women now to take responsibility for their own financial future and sets out her top tips for women to help provide for themselves in later life:
- “Don't rely on a partner's pension - save for yourself.
- If your partner is buying an annuity, make sure he knows the importance of selecting a joint life product that will keep paying to you after he dies.
- Take your own financial planning advice, to help you assess your later life income prospects.
- More women than men will need expensive social care so you may want to plan how you might pay for that if needed.”
In response to the essays and evidence submitted, ILC-UK will also be launching an Older Women’s Policy and Research Action Alliance to create a roadmap for future research and policy priorities.
The compendium is available to download from http://www.ilcuk.org.uk/index.php/publications/publication_details/has_the_sisterhood_forgotten_older_women The hashtag is #olderwomen
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