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The Gender Gap: Getting the Most Out of Your Pension Income

June 11, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 184

The typical size of income that retirees can expect from their pension fund has plummeted in recent years and some figures suggest that women are worse off than men.

One recent study showed that women could expect more than five and a half thousand pounds less each year when compared to their male counterparts, with almost half of women surveyed believing that they will not have enough put aside for a comfortable retirement compared to 40% of men.

Pension incomes in retirement have been hit by a variety of economic factors across the board, including low interest rates brought about by quantitative easing (QE) and an overall decline in saving for retirement.

The good news is that the retirement income gender gap is improving, but there is still a long way to go before equality is achieved.

The biggest issue facing women in particular may surround a lack of saving and career breaks where saving ceases.

If you are a woman and you are worried about whether you are saving enough to provide a decent annuity income for your retirement you may want to consider obtaining a comprehensive pension review with the aid of an independent annuity advisor. This can help you assess deficiencies and make adjustments where required.

Many women decide to take career breaks in order to start a family or for other personal reasons, however this shouldn't be a barrier to building up a decent pension pot for your retirement. You may want to consider maintaining your pension contributions while you're away from work, or make additional National Insurance contributions when you return.

If you are already approaching retirement and thinking of purchasing an annuity income there is still time to take steps to improve your prospects for a better income. For example shopping around or taking advantage of an enhanced annuity option can help you get the most out of the money that you do have.

It's important to realise that you are not obliged to take the annuity option offered to you by you pension fund provider, and you are almost always entitled to exercise what is known as the "open market option".

Saving for retirement and keeping in touch with your option can see you on the road to the retirement that you desire. For advice on making the most out of your pension fund or to find the best annuity rates for your circumstances you may want to speak to an independent annuity advisor for a free initial no obligation consultation.

John T Hughes writes for Annuites Rates, a site that connects consumers to annuities advice they can trust.

Source: EzineArticles
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