1. ITV Report

Ireland has gender pension gap of 35% – study

Some 55% of retired men receive a private or occupational pension, compared to only 28% of women Photo: Yui Mok/PA

Irish men receive an average of 153 euro more than women in their pension payments, according to research by the Economic and Social Research Unit (ESRI).

The study found the average total weekly pension income in 2010 was 280 euro for women and 433 euro for men, indicating a gender pension gap of approximately 35%.

The total gender pension gap is due to differences in incomes from private and occupational pensions.

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Some 55% of retired men receive a private or occupational pension, compared to only 28% of women.

For men and women who receive a state pension, there is no difference observed in the amount received because there is no gender gap in state pensions.

For occupational and private pensions, the research shows that lower relative years of work experience among women increases the gender pension gap because there is a significant difference in the number of years worked by men and women.

Some 93% of retired men had worked for more than 30 years, compared to 33% of retired women.

Around 3% of retired men had never worked, compared to 22% of retired women.

Women are less likely to receive a contributory pension and among those who do, the average income received is much lower than the average income received by men.

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The report authors said it is partly because more women receive lower pension payments rates as a result of less time spent in employment.

The report states higher levels of female educational attainment reduce the gender pension gap.

Adele Whelan of ESRI said a complex mix of factors shape the working lives of women and men such as personal desires, household decision-making processes, social conditions and public policies.

“In order to reduce the pension gender gap, policymakers need to consider measures to raise female employments levels, reduce the differences in occupational and private pension coverage across genders, ensure increased continuity in employment and adequately protect against care-related interruptions,” said Ms Whelan.

“Policies concerning the provision of increased and more affordable childcare and long-term care services can also play a role to increase female employment levels and ensure increased continuity in employment,” said Ms Whelan.