Women are twice as likely to feel unprepared for the end of their career in relation to planning for retirement, new research shows.

The data from Aviva shows that 21 per cent of women feel completely ‘on the back foot’ about retirement and pensions, as opposed to 12 per cent of men.

Alongside this, women are more than twice as likely as men to be in the dark about how to manage their pension as they approach retirement, at 34 per cent compared to 14 per cent.

Whilst women feel less prepared than men, planning for retirement appears to be a widespread issue, with 47 per cent of people in work reporting that they do not know how to go about planning for retirement.

Less than one in three (28 per cent) feel secure in their knowledge of how to manage their pension, with the same amount confident that they know what a ‘good’ amount is to have in their pension for someone their age.

The idea of pensions appears to be shrouded in secrecy within the workplace, with Aviva calling for a Living Pension accreditation to help employers ensure their workplace pension supports a minimum standard of living in retirement.

In fact, the research shows that the pandemic has had a disproportionately poor effect on retirement planning, with the number of people who know how much they need to save dropping sharply since the beginning of lockdown.

In February 2020, 61 per cent of people reported they knew how much they needed to save for retirement, compared to 52 per cent now.

Retirement and pension knowledge appear to follow a trend in line with age, with 39 per cent of workers in ‘Gen X’ aged 40-54 saying they had put retirement to the back of their mind, whilst almost four in five (79 per cent) of ‘Gen Y’, aged 25 to 39, saying they feel like they will have to work much longer until they retire.

As many employers look to improve provisions for staff post-pandemic, Aviva suggests that the workplace should become a key site where employees can address their queries about retirement and pensions, in an effort to address the national retirement savings gap.

Mary Harper, Managing Director of Aviva Financial Advice, commented:

Whether people are working longer out of choice or necessity, many are crying out for greater help from their employers to help them manage their finances ahead of retirement.

It’s important people have sufficient financial knowledge to make the right decisions for them at the right time. Our research shows that employers have a key role to play in filling the pensions preparedness vacuum.