Narrowing of gender pensions gap in Denmark slows in 2020

The pension wealth gap between men and women in Denmark remained at 24 per cent in 2020 following several years of improvement, according to data from Statistics Denmark.

The figures showed that average Danish woman’s pension wealth was approximately DKK 594,000 in 2020, compared to DKK 779,000 for men.

This represents a gap of 24 per cent, the same difference in pension wealth as 2019.

The gender pensions gap had been continuously narrowing in Denmark since 2015, when the gap was 27 per cent.

Commenting on the statistics, Sampension head of marketing and customer advice, Anne-Louise Lindkvist, said: “It is very gratifying that women's and men's pension savings have generally increased significantly in recent years.

“But after the difference in savings has narrowed in recent years, the positive development did not continue in 2020.

“There is reason to be aware of this - not least as we know that women typically retire earlier and live longer than men - because this means that women generally have less savings for several years, which, all other things being equal, will make it more difficult for them financially to have the desired retirement life.”

Statistics Denmark also revealed that the pension wealth gap between genders in 2020 was largest amongst Danes over the age of 70.

Among 70 to 79 year olds, the gap was 37 per cent, while for Danes over the age of 80 the gap was 46 per cent.

Lindkvist noted that this was likely due to the fact that the older women were less likely to have worked as much as older men during their life and had therefore saved less into workplace pension schemes.

However, the gap was also evident amongst working-age Danes, with the average gap for those aged between 18 and 69 years old ranging between 16 per cent and 23 per cent in 2020.

“That there is a big difference between women's and men's pension savings also in the younger generations is remarkable,” Lindkvist continued.

“For women, generation after generation has become increasingly connected to the labour market and is being better and better educated. Therefore, one should immediately expect that their pension fortunes would also come in some proximity to those of the men. But that is far from the case.

“It is particularly related to the fact that women still, to a greater extent than men, choose female-dominated subjects, for example within care, with lower pay, while men continue to be more likely to choose subjects where pay is higher.

“It has an impact on life income and retirement in the end. At the same time, women are generally less interested in retirement than men. This is due to the fact that communication about pensions is typically based on language use with numbers and technology, which is perhaps more aimed at more men than women.

“Here, the pension industry has an important task in communicating about pensions, so that the message captures the interest of women to a greater extent.”

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