Building Sustainable Societies

Exploring the private pension gender gap in later working life: Evidence from ELSA

Date: Weds 13 June 2012 – 5.30pm
Location: Liberty Building SR G.32

Jean Gardiner and Andrew Robinson, University of Leeds

This seminar investigates the gender gap in private pension (PP) membership and wealth, focusing on the separate and combined effects of gender and occupation for employees in their 50s, using data from the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA).

A Heckman selection model is used to jointly estimate PP membership and wealth. This suggests that gender has a stronger effect on PP membership than occupation and that it is female employees’ lower rate of PP membership that has the greatest impact on their ability to accumulate PP wealth, rather than their ability to save once a member.

The size of the gender gap in PP wealth is conditioned by occupation and is largest in managerial and administrative occupations and less in evidence in professional and manual occupations. It is also shorter working hours, rather than gender per se, that depress the level of pension savings for women employed in their 50s who have a PP.


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