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Young men wise up to pension planning - but women fall behind

26th November 2014 Print

Traditionally the financial advice industry has found it difficult to engage with younger people on pensions, but new data from Selectapension has discovered that younger male clients are now wising up to the need to plan early. The technology provider has found that the introduction of auto-enrolment is changing their financial planning habits, but younger women still lag behind their male peers in retirement planning.

When looking at clients aged between 22-29, Selectapension found that in 2014 men made up 73% of an Adviser’s pension review activity, meaning only 27% of all 22-29 year old clients were women. This is a significant fall for women, as in 2013 females made up 43% of the 22-29 year old group.

The research further reveals that when Advisers work with older clients, they are also more likely to be male. This year, of clients aged 30-39, 73% of cases analysed were for male clients. When clients hit the 40-49 age group this increases to 75% and once clients are aged between 50-59 over three quarters (77%) of all pension cases are male. This trend highlights that men have traditionally been more active in pension-decision making, likely because of the role they play in financial planning for their families.

On average the company found the majority of pension cases analysed by Advisers in the past year were for men and only a quarter (24%) of pension reviews were for female clients. Notably, there has been an overall year-on-year decline in the number of pension cases being analysed by Advisers for female clients. In 2012, 27.4% of all pension cases reviewed by Advisers were for women, whereas in 2013 this fell slightly to 27.1%. However this year’s figures have again dropped by a further 3%. [To 24%] This gap in female clients is a clear opportunity for Advisers to engage with women, and demonstrate the benefits of paid-for, professional advice.

Andy McCabe, Managing Director, Selectapension commented: “Auto-enrolment made an immediate impact last year, particularly amongst younger savers as many would have been exposed to the concept of retirement saving for the very first time. However, young male pension savers seem to be much more active in seeking out a financial adviser. With so many changes to pensions coming into force in April next year, it is likely that more women will start to actively seek advice on their pension pots. This is a clear opportunity for the industry to engage with more women about the need to work with a professional, paid-for Adviser to actively invest their money in retirement funds now.”

Shona Barr from Affinity IFA Ltd commented: “We are dealing with younger clients as a direct result of auto-enrolment and from my experience, younger women often put long-term planning on the back burner due to career breaks in their late 20s and early 30s to start a family or go travelling. However I believe that the Adviser industry needs to engage with female clients to ensure they do not fall off the radar and continue planning for retirement.”