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EU gender pension gap twice the gender pay gap

09 June 2017 #Employment

Not to be confused with the gender pay gap, the gender pension gap is defined as ‘the gap between the pre-tax income received as a pension by women and that received by men'. The consultancy firm Mercer has recently found that this gap in the EU is more than twice the gap between men and women’s earnings, standing at 40%, compared to the gender pay gap of 16%.

The gap varies wildly from each member state (ranging from 4% to 49%). The UK’s gender pension gap is reportedly 39.5%, pushing the UK into the top half of EU countries which had a gap of 30% or more. Mandy Shreuder, diversity and inclusion consultant at Mercer, commented that lower income levels for a large proportion of European women, combined with a shorter time in the labour market (by undertaking career breaks or working part-time in order to care for children or relatives) placed women at a disadvantage because most pension systems in the EU (both social security and company plans) were linked to income.

In its report Mercer commented that employers must take action by accelerating gender diversity efforts by “implementing robust pay equity processes, supporting all employees through and on return from maternity and paternity leave, and more.” Mercer reported that businesses could reap the benefits of increased employee engagement and productivity if they get the balance right.

Keep an eye out for our upcoming podcasts and seminars on the gender pay gap later this year. If you would like to discuss your gender pay gap, please contact a member of our Employment team.

Clarkslegal, specialist Employment lawyers in London, Reading and throughout the Thames Valley.
For further information about this or any other Employment matter please contact Clarkslegal's employment team by email at by telephone 020 7539 8000 (London office), 0118 958 5321 (Reading office) or by completing the form on this page.
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