3 ways women can stretch their pension after retirement

Picture of a boat pulled up on a beach for my post about how women can stretch their pension after retirement

Less pension after women quit work

I wrote a post for the PensionBee blog about the gender pension gap, and it made me really cross.

My husband bore the brunt of me stomping around, ranting about how women end up with drastically lower pension savings.

Previous post: What is a pension and why you should care?

Fundamentally, if women get paid less than men for the same work, we have fewer pounds to put into a pension.

Couple the gender pay gap with career breaks to raise children or care for elderly relatives, the drop in earnings if returning to work part time, and the damage that career breaks and part-time roles do to our promotion prospects, and women’s retirement savings take a massive hit. Fewer pounds in, fewer pounds out.

Meanwhile many men glide through their full-time roles, with only a fortnight here or there for paternity leave. They siphon off part of their salary into a pension every month, topped up with employer contributions and tax relief. Repeat till retirement and quit with a chunky pension pot. (Cue more swearing by me and fist shaking at the sky).

Fighting the gender pension gap after retirement

So for International Women’s Day, I think it’s time to start redressing the balance. Over in my PensionBee post, I set out a seven point action plan to fight back against the gender pension gap, so you reach retirement with more money.

Right here, I wanted to include tips on how women can earn more even after retirement. With longer life expectancy than men, we need to stretch our pension money further.

The snappily named Continuous Mortality Investigation (CMI) reckons that on average, men age 65 will live to 87 and women to 89. That means on average a woman retiring at 65 needs the funds to cover almost a quarter of a century – and many of us will live even longer.

Here’s three things to think about:

1. Don’t get crippled by cash

Don’t be tempted to whip money out of your private pension as soon as you can, and just stick it in a savings account. Changing pension rules have left many people fearful that the government might move the goal posts yet again. A savings account may feel like the safe option. But for women who need their money to last for 25 years plus, cash really isn’t the best option. With interest rates on savings accounts at record lows, the value of your money will be eaten away by inflation, so it won’t cover higher costs in future.

Sure, keep some emergency cash. But over the long term, staying invested should help women stretch their money for longer. Using racier investments will give your money more chance of keeping up with rising costs.

Previous post: Are you losing money on your savings?

2. Don’t get hit by a huge tax bill

Tax is another reason to think carefully before cashing in your pension savings as soon as you’re old enough.

With a pension, you can take out a quarter of your money without paying a penny in tax – but you could face an income tax bill on the rest. If you take out a big chunk of your retirement savings above the 25% tax free, it gets added to any other income you might get (think state pension, work pension or any job).

You might normally only pay basic rate tax. However, if your pension withdrawal pushes your income above the higher rate tax band, currently £46,350 a year, suddenly you’ll start paying 40% tax on anything above it.

If you’ve already been hit by the gender pay gap and gender pension gap, don’t get hit by the tax man too. Remember that if you split big withdrawals into smaller sums over several years, you could pay a lot less tax, and hang on to a lot more of your limited money.

Previous video: How does pension drawdown tax work? 

3. Don’t take the first offer if you go for an annuity

Nowadays, we all have a lot more choice about what to do with our pension cash. One option is to manage your own money, choosing where to put it and how much to take out. Pension drawdown can work well, but it does come with the very real risk that the money disappears before you do.

Women tend to be less keen on investing than men. Only 6% of women hold investments in the stock market apart from pensions, compared to 13% of men, according to Fidelity International’s Power of Women report.

Previous post: Why women don’t invest

If you don’t want the faff of managing investments and worrying if your money will run out, it’s still worth considering an annuity.

An annuity is when you hand over a chunk of money to a pension company, and they pay you an income in return.

Annuities get a bad rap because the rates are low, but they do bring peace of mind by guaranteeing to continue paying an income for as long as you live.  Annuities are what most people bought with their private pension savings, before George Osborne ripped up the pensions rule book.

The crucial thing with annuities is that it’s a one shot deal.

You sign on the dotted line, and that’s it. No potential to move your money elsewhere. You can’t try one company for size, get fed up and switch annuity companies.

I bang on about comparing prices on your bills. But if there’s one product where you MUST compare your options – it’s an annuity. Because your choice affects your income for the rest of your life, and you can’t change your mind.

Worryingly, only one in four individuals shopping around for annuities with their retirement savings are women, according to research by financial advisers LEBC. Fewer women compared deals across the whole of the market – and the proportion has fallen, from 37% in 2016 to just 25% in 2017 and 2018.

Remember, you don’t have to accept whatever your pension company offers. Look around! It’s called ‘exercising your open market option’. Get quotes from other companies, and if they offer more income, grab it. Don’t stay with your original pension company from a misguided sense of loyalty. Don’t assume the company you’ve known so long has your best interests at heart. If you don’t compare quotes, you could be missing out on hundreds if not thousands of pounds a year.

It’s even more important if you have health issues. Smokers or people with certain medical conditions get paid higher income, from delightfully named ‘impaired life’ annuities. (Basically, if an annuity company thinks you’re likely to pop your clogs earlier, they’ll give you more money each year because they reckon they’ll be paying it for less time). LEBC reckons two thirds of their clients are eligible for higher pay outs.

I’m not convinced an annuity will make the most of my own retirement savings. But if you do want to use pension money to buy an annuity, make sure you shop around!


Now – over to you. Have you thought about how you’ll use your pension savings after retirement? If you’ve already retired, any tips on how to make the most of your money? Do share in the comments, I’d love to hear!


Pensions are one area where it’s important to get good advice. Over 50s can book an appointment with PensionWise, a government body, for impartial guidance about your options. You can also find local independent financial advisers via VouchedFor and Unbiased.co.uk

For more posts by UK Money Bloggers celebrating International Women’s Day, check out the UKMB website.

Pin for later:

Pinterest sized picture of a boat pulled up on a beach for my post about how women can stretch their pension after retirement


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


  1. Manuel Franco
    1st December 2023 / 9:05 am

    I just want to say Thank You to everyone who supported me through the years. My name is Manuel Franco, New Berlin, Wisconsin. My story of how I won the Powerball lottery of $768.4M is a bit of a tale. I have been playing Powerball tickets for 6 years now since I turned 18. I bought my first ticket on my 18 birthday. I was feeling very lucky that day because I had contacted Dr. Odunga Michael to help me with the winning Powerball numbers. I really had that great great feeling that I looked at the camera wanting to wink at it. I only did a tiny part of it and trusted him. He gave me the numbers after I played a couple other tickets along with it for $10. I checked my ticket after the winnings came online and saw the numbers were correct including the Power play. I screamed for about 10 minutes because it felt like a dream. I had won $768.4M. You can check my winning testimony with the lottery officials just with my name search. Thank you Dr Odunga. Well, his email is odungaspelltemple@gmail.com and you can also call or Whats-app him at +2348167159012 so you guys can contact him

  2. Dave allen
    1st December 2023 / 8:42 pm

    Investing on the cryptocurrency market has been a main source of income, that’s why knowledge plays a very important role in humanity, you don’t need to over work yourself for money.All you need is the right information, and you could build your own wealth from the comfort of your home!Binary trading is dependent on timely signals, assets or controlled strategies which when mastered increases chance of winning up to 90%-100% with trading. It’s possible to earn $10,000 to $20,000 trading weekly-monthly in cryptocurrency(bitcoin) investment, just get in contact with Mr Bernie Doran my broker. I had almost given up on everything about binary trading and never getting my lost funds back, till i met with him, with his help and guidance now i have my lost funds back to my bank account, gained more profit and I can now trade successfully with his profitable strategies and software!!
    Reach out to him on Gmail (BERNIEDORANSIGNALS@GMAIL.COM) , or his WhatsApp : +1(424)285-0682 for inquiries

  3. alexbordug
    26th December 2023 / 12:29 pm

    Recently, being retired, I was able to fulfill a long-time dream and buy a Peugeot car. This was made possible thanks to Peugeot VIN decoder, which helped me find the perfect one for my needs and preferences. I used the link https://epicvin.com/vin-decoder/peugeot to this VIN decoder to get a detailed history report of the chosen car and it made my purchase more confident and informed. Peugeot’s VIN decoder provided me with important information about past owners, accident and repair history and the current technical condition of the car. This data was crucial in my purchase decision and I feel confident and safe knowing that my Peugeot meets my expectations. This experience was a great example of how modern technology and resources, such as VIN decoders, can help people make the right choice when purchasing a vehicle.

  4. Yanira Alvarez
    23rd May 2024 / 3:43 pm

    Real spell casters are hard to find but I am happy to thank Lord Krish for helping me win the lottery successfully after trying so many spell casters and I found my happiness in Lord Krish. I was given the lottery numbers by him which made me the third highest lottery winner in history and this is all thanks to you sir. Winning the lottery is something everyone would like to feel especially with a trustworthy spell caster. I, Yanira Alvarez, won the Powerball lottery in Los Angeles and I really thank Lord Krish because after I contacted him, he told me to only provide the spiritual items for him to do it for me and I didn’t hesitate to give him what he required so I could win it. I have tried so many spell casters who seemed real but only Lord Krish numbers gave me the winnings. I won the Powerball Jackpot of $1.08 billion and I am here today to share my experience to those willing to win the lottery as well. Take this opportunity to contact Lord Krish Spiritual with his email: lordkrishshrine@gmail.com and also share your experience with others.

The contents of this blog are for information and ideas, and should not be viewed as financial advice. Use of the material is conditional on there being no liability for how you choose to use it. If you are unsure about any investments or financial issues, please contact a financial adviser.