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Britain's Pensions CrisisHistory and Policy$
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Hugh Pemberton, Pat Thane, and Noel Whiteside

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780197263853

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197263853.001.0001

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Gender Inequalities: Sidelined in British Pension Policy

Gender Inequalities: Sidelined in British Pension Policy

Chapter:
(p.91) 6. Gender Inequalities: Sidelined in British Pension Policy
Source:
Britain's Pensions Crisis
Author(s):

Jay Ginn

Publisher:
British Academy
DOI:10.5871/bacad/9780197263853.003.0006

According to the Pensions Commission in its first report, the state pension system in Britain is among the least generous in the developed world. This reflects the explicit aim of both Conservative and New Labour governments since 1980 to reduce the share of pensions provided by the state and increase that provided by the private sector. This policy has reinforced the gender gap in pensions. Despite recent acknowledgement by the government's pensions minister that women's pensions are ‘a national scandal’, there is no sign of a radical shift in policy which is needed to remedy that situation. This chapter outlines the gender gap in later life income, showing how private pensions shape gender inequality in different ways based on women's marital status. It also examines gender differences in working-age individuals' employment, earnings, and private (occupational or personal) pension scheme membership, focusing on the impact of motherhood on women's position. Moreover, it considers alternative ways of protecting the pension income of carers and assesses the Pensions Commission's 2005 proposals in terms of women's pension needs.

Keywords:   Britain, women, Pensions Commission, pensions, gender gap, gender inequality, carers, motherhood, income, employment

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