Matthew Hunt of HSBC explores ways to close the gender pensions gap
A multi-pronged approach is needed to help close the gender pensions gap, according to Matthew Hunt, Group Head of Pensions and Benefits Policy at HSBC.
Speaking on the Closing the gender wealth gap by closing the women’s health gap REBA webinar on 1 March 2023, Hunt explained what causes the gender pensions gap and how to close it.
He pointed out that the gender pension gap can be as much as £100,000 by retirement. “Women tend to live longer than men, so they need to save more,” he said. “But they also take more career breaks, are more likely to work part-time and tend to be more cautious investors.”
Closing this gap requires a multi-faceted approach. Hunt said that, as women tend to be the primary caregiver in the home, offering longer paid maternity leave can make a big difference. Best practice recommendations, he said, suggest a minimum of 18 weeks paid leave.
Financial education is another key ingredient. “Employees could be encouraged to make up the missed contributions when they return to work,” added Hunt. “It can be difficult when money’s tight, but it does raise awareness of potential gaps in their savings and what they can do to close them.”
He also advocated providing financial wellbeing support and guidance on saving strategies. “This would definitely help all employees, not just women, manage their money better,” he added.