Alexander Forbes recently released the first major research on the financial survival of pensioners of retirement schemes in SA - and it does not make happy reading for women. This research was done before the Covid-19 outbreak and Moody's downgraded South Africa. The situation now is likely to be far worse.
Women in retirement are far worse off financially than men. The reasons include insufficient contribution rates to retirement funds, breaks in careers to raise a family, the glass ceiling and, in retirement, the fact that they live longer than men.
Incidentally, the World Economic Forum's 2018 Global Gender Gap Report has South Africa in 19th place out of 149 countries. Things are getting better for women, but they are still far from acceptable.
This is backed by research undertaken by Alexander Forbes on its own retirement book, the largest in South Africa.
John Anderson, an actuary and Alexander Forbes' head of strategic development, says the proportion of women in higher-earning positions has increased over the last decade.
He says this is likely to be a result of changes in the type of work given the advancement of technology, cost-of-living changes generally making it necessary for as many family members...