Older women suffer most from inequality

Older women are more likely to be poor, socially isolated, badly housed, unhealthy and die sooner because of a lifetime of lower pay and unequal working conditions than older men, according to a new report.

A study by the Centre for Ageing Better found “shameful” and stark contrasts in people’s experiences of later life, with severe inequalities among older people largely a product of poverty and disadvantage throughout life.

Women aged 65-69 suffered the worst discrimination of all. Only 36% of this age group received the full state pension in 2014, the review found.

“A good later life is something we should expect for everyone. It should not be conditional on where we live or how much money we have, nor on our gender, race, disability or sexuality,” said Claire Turner, director of evidence at the Centre for Ageing Better.

“But cumulative poverty and disadvantage throughout life mean that many people will suffer poor health, financial insecurity, weak social connections and ultimately a shorter life. These inequalities – with richer older people living around eight years longer than those with less advantage – are shocking and have sustained over time, despite policy and practice designed to reduce them.

Pension poverty looms as women fail to save enough for retirement
“Helping current older people and protecting future generations from this shameful level of inequality in health and wealth should be at the heart of policy making across health, housing, work and pensions.” …