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Wednesday 21st March 2012
 
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Friends Life report says more needs to be done for working mums

A report by Friends Life has revealed that more needs to be done to ensure women's long-term savings are not hampered by the impact of starting a family. The latest Visions of Britain 2020 report has exposed a worrying number of women who are less clued up about pensions than their male counterparts, and the company is urging employers to do more to combat the issue.

Despite female representation on the board of the UK's largest companies increasing, little is being done to minimise the damage of women taking a career break to start a family, Friends Life believes.

Kim Clarke, Head of HR at Friends Life, commented:
"We believe that employers may well consider the short-term financial impact of female employees starting a family through supportive flexible working practices but what about the long-term impact? When women return to work they often go back part time in the first instance, meaning that the percentage of their salary that they can save is much smaller, while at the same time their outgoings have increased. Unless drastic changes are made, many women may find that starting a family could negatively affect their retirement pot."

According to the latest Visions of Britain report by Friends Life, entitled Pensions: The Solutions, almost half (49%) of women do not save into an employer-sponsored pension scheme. A further one in ten are unsure if they save at all. In light of the findings Friends Life is calling for more to be done to increase savings awareness among women in the workplace.

Kim Clarke added:
"There is a lot we could do as a nation to help those women wanting to have a family and a career – the two no longer need to be mutually exclusive. Missed National Insurance payments and pension contributions while women are out of the workplace raising a family can have a serious impact on those trying to save for their retirement. Flexible working is one of a number of things that can encourage working mums back to work, but fresh thinking is still needed, hence our undertaking this project and commissioning this important research."

The views of more than 1,000 people across Britain, including pension experts, were canvassed for the report.

(source : Friends Life)