More women than men worry they’re not saving enough for when they’re older. This is true across every generation. Overall, baby boomers worry least about saving enough, while millennials worry most.
However, the gender difference is greatest among people aged 18–24 (Gen Zers)1. Here, 67% of women worry about not saving enough, compared to 55% of men (see Figure 1).
This pronounced gender difference among Gen Zers is striking because this generation has the smallest gender pay gap.
These findings are from Standard Life’s Consumer Attitudes Report, Bringing retirement into focus: 2021, which surveyed around 5,000 people in the UK in August 20212.
Figure 1: Gen Z women are far more worried than men about not saving enough
Gen Z women also worry more about spending too much money than any other age group. Almost two-thirds (64%) of Gen Z women worry about spending too much money in case they run out in the future, compared to 56% of men of the same age.
Figure 2: Gen Z women worry most about spending too much money
What is causing this gender difference among companies’ youngest workers?
Are Gen Z women simply better informed than some other groups about the financial pressures they face, or are their financial pressures greater? And what can employers and the pension industry do to support this group?
It is possible that some young women are particularly worried about their finances because they have witnessed the impact of the gender gap on previous generations, including female relatives.
On the plus side, worry constitutes a form of engagement and can be the first step to action. These findings therefore indicate that employers and the pension industry have an opportunity to effectively engage with young women and help to improve their short- and long-term savings.
The challenge for employers and pension providers alike will be in listening to and understanding younger women’s financial needs – and remaining relevant as sources of support and guidance.
1 Although Gen Z is typically defined as people born between 1997 and 2012, we only surveyed adults, so our Gen Z respondents were all born between 1997 and 2003 – that is, aged 18–24.
2 In August 2021, Standard Life commissioned an independent online survey of nearly 5,000 people from around the UK. We supplemented this with focus groups to explore issues coming out of the survey in more depth. The research looked to cover a broadly representative sample of UK adults aged 18 to 80-plus, covering a range by income, savings, region, gender, ethnicity and other key attributes.