More than 7 million working women at risk of losing £30,000 at retirement over state pension 'shambles'

The average man currently gets a £153.86 a week pension, compared to an average £125.98 for women.

Millions of women will be on average £30,000 worse off than men during their retirement because of a shocking state pension divide.

An investigation by the magazine Which? Money found that the average man currently gets a £153.86 a week pension, compared to an average £125.98 for women - leaving them short changed to the tune of £2,416 a year.

That adds up to a staggering £28,995 over a typical 20-year retirement, according to the analysis of Department for Work and Pensions data on the 12.9million currently receiving their state pension.

Almost 7.2million of those are women.

The yawning gap for those who have already retired is because women took time out during their working lives and therefore didn’t build up enough National Insurance qualifying years and because they earned lower wages.

This is another blow for women who receive a lot less in private pensions too.

They earn less than men during their working lives so put away lower amounts into workplace and private pensions.

And they get lower contributions from their boss - as workplace pension contributions from employers are based on a percentage of earnings.

The divide may be smaller going forward because mums have gradually been able to claim NI credits when they are not working and bringing up children, typically for the first 12 years of childhood.

The Which? analysis highlights yet more unfairness in the state pension system which is now so complicated it is almost a joke.

Women and older pensioners are left out of pocket

An overhaul in 2016, which was meant to make the system fairer, introduced the flat rate pension for men and women. But in reality not everyone does get the same and it has created multiple confusing layers of pension thresholds.

It means that in some cases people who retired before April 2016 could end being up to £40,000 worse off over a 20-year retirement than those who are retiring since that date.

Former Pensions Minister Baroness Altmann, said: “The new state pension doesn’t mature for a few decades, estimates are it will be around 2050, and so women will continue to be the poor relation.

It's an incredibly complicated system(Image: Getty)

“Men did very well under the old system as the amount people received had a relation to how much they earned. Women worked fewer years, taking time out to bring up a family, and earned less money. They were treated as second class citizens. A state pension based on earnings, where women get less than men, has been and always will be unacceptable and unjust.

“Automatically women have less private pension - they earn less so put less away. I would have given everyone over 75 the new flat rate to ensure the poorest and most vulnerable weren’t left behind.”

A DWP spokesperson said: “This analysis does not include the benefits from previous contracted-out pensions that were integral to the State Pension system up to April 2016. This means that it under reports the incomes of millions of people.

“By focusing on one element of the State Pension, it only provides part of the picture and risks undervaluing the combined impact of all parts of the pension system.”

“The new State Pension is simpler than the previous system, with millions of people are set to benefit and, by 2030, over 3million women are likely to be on average £550 a year better off thanks to these changes.”

Tricia says....

It’s is shocking that women are still getting a duff deal on the amount of state pension they receive - and that it will take decades before the system pays out a fair amount to both sexes.

I speak to readers every day with heartbreaking stories of how they cannot afford their bills and are struggling to make ends meet during their retirement.

And from those angry and confused at how constant meddling from the Government means they don’t know when they will get their state pension or how much they will receive.

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