More boys than girls have pensions at young age – HMRC data

Tom Ellis reports...

Parents and grandparents are more likely to save into a pension for their sons than their daughters, according to data from the taxman.

The statistics, obtained by Hargreaves Lansdown from HM Revenue & Customs, showed that 20,000 boys aged under 16 had money paid into a pension for them in 2016/17, compared to 13,000 girls.

Those who do not have any earnings can pay up to £2,880 per year into a pension and receive 20% tax relief, including children, and parents and grandparents can pay into a pension plan on behalf of youngsters.

Hargreaves Lansdown senior analyst Nathan Long said: “Parents and grandparents are far more likely to save for boys than for girls, so the gender pension gap can start from birth. While women’s paltry pension savings are rightly blamed on the gender pay gap and their greater role in looking after the family, there is another villain in the piece.

He added: “It’s counter intuitive that there are more pensions for boys as women earn less, take more career breaks, and yet have longer retirements, so need more in their pension. It’s unclear why this discrepancy exists, although it could be because gifting has come in part from a generation of baby boomers where men are typically more likely to have the lion’s share of pension in retirement.”