Women still lag behind men in terms of both state and occupational pension provision. This is partly explained by women’s broken career path as it is they who overwhelmingly take time off to bring up children and increasingly look after sick or elderly relatives.
Historically women have also tended to be in part-time employment that once (then legally) prevented women from joining occupational schemes and often their earnings were too low to reach the threshold to contribute to the State Pension.
Usdaw successfully campaigned for part-time workers to be allowed in to occupational schemes so now it is illegal to prevent part-time workers from joining a scheme on that basis.
However, being part-time and/or on low pay means it is difficult for workers to be able to afford pension contributions. This is why Usdaw wants to see employers pay both higher hourly rates and make bigger contributions towards their pension schemes.