Retirement income prospects

Women’s financial wellbeing in retirement is influenced by a variety of contextual factors and by decisions women make during their life course.  While New Zealand Superannuation offers a universal pension, women tend to have less net wealth at retirement than men.  For instance, in 2004 the Survey of Family Income and Employment (SoFIE) showed that women aged 45-64 have a median net worth of $146,000, 14.5 percent less than the median net worth of $167,300 for men in the same age bracket.

Given these gender imbalances, the Ministry's focus is on gaining a better understanding of the drivers, barriers and opportunities for women to build net worth and on improve their incomes in retirement.

The Ministry has been supporting the Commission for Financial Literacy and Retirement Income  in its research project on improving women’s future retirement prospects.

The project investigates the factors thought most likely to impact on women’s retirement prospects including:

  • factors affecting women in the workplace
  • the ease of women leaving and rejoining the workforce
  • anticipated support from marriage/partnership, family, friends, whānau and the community
  • financial arrangements following a relationship breakup, and
  • cultural and ethnic factors that may ameliorate or exacerbate negative outcomes for women’s income in retirement.