Conference Paper International Women's Policy Research Conference
Why do British Women Receive So Little Private Pension Income?
23 Jun 2003
This paper investigates the sources of the differences between men's and women's private pension income among Britons aged 66+. Our research addresses several related questions. Is the gap between the sexes in private pension income due to women having lower coverage rates than men, or lower pension incomes conditional on coverage? To what extent does the gender gap arise because women are less advantaged then men in terms of their characteristics? Or is it that women's characteristics are less well rewarded in pension terms than men's?
Our analysis is based on estimates of a joint model of the probability of receipt of private pension income and of the level of private pension received based on data from the British Household Panel Survey. We find that most of the gender gap in the probability of private pension receipt, and in the amount received, is accounted for by differences between men and women in the returns to personal characteristics. Although there are marked differences between elderly men and elderly women in their lifetime employment histories, these differences account for only a small fraction of the overall private pension income gap between the sexes.