The worry about saving is a common issue right now, with more than half of working women (53%)1 in the UK saying that concerns over saving enough for retirement has caused them some stress over the last six months. And they’re right to be concerned.

The career breaks that many women take when they have a baby or when they’re relied on to step in as the full-time carer of an elderly relative have a potentially damaging effect on earnings and can affect a women's opportunity to rise up the career ladder. These breaks also have a detrimental effect on women’s pension entitlement many years down the line.

The good news is that we have the power to turn this around and ensure we can afford the retirement lifestyle we want. Start with these five simple steps.

1. Get an idea of how much you need to save

Do you have a rough idea of how much you need to save for a comfortable retirement? If not, you’re not alone. Three in five (61%)1 of the women we surveyed said they have no idea how much they need to save for retirement.

The Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association’s says the ‘minimum’ living standard now costs £14,400 a year for a single person and £22,400 for a couple, while a ‘comfortable’ lifestyle needs an income of £43,100 a year for one person or £59,000 for a two-person household.2

Women statistically live longer than men but are usually not financially prepared for it. Your retirement may last from 20 to 30 years, so you may have to rely on your pension for quite a long time. For guidance on how much is enough, visit the Retirement Living Standards website

2. Check how much you have saved so far

Know how much you have saved. Knowledge is always power when it comes to finances, and although there are multiple temptations to stick our heads in the ground (retirement is far away/retirement is too close now/it’s too soon/it’s too late/I can’t do anything anyway), you have to know where you’re starting to work out where you’re going. You can quickly check and manage your pension savings by logging into PlanViewer (and if you want to make it easier to view your pension on the go, think about downloading our PlanViewer app).

3. Close the gap

Are you worried that your current contributions won’t be enough to meet your retirement goals? You’re not alone. Our research found that nearly 1 in 4 (23%)1 women we surveyed admitted that they will most probably retire later than they originally anticipated, and nearly half of those (44%)1 said that was because their retirement savings were lower than they had thought they would be.  

If you can increase your contributions, our power of small amounts tool can show you how even a small increase in how much you save could make a big difference to how much you have at retirement.

4. Plan ahead 

Be aware of any potential future career breaks and gaps in your pension and think about how you can make extra contributions to minimise the effects later on. Paying in more sooner rather than later also means you could potentially end up with a larger pot overall as the money has more time to grow, and for that growth to be invested too. Remember though, the value of your pension and any income from it can go down as well as up, so you may get back less than you invest

5. Review regularly 

Take the time to review your retirement savings regularly. Your spending will change throughout the year, so flex your savings levels as you need to. And don’t worry if you slide off track or need to adjust your goals to meet changing demands on your money. This is about long-term goals, so any blips should be seen as just that. The trick is to stay focused on the end goal.


1 The Fidelity Global Sentiment Survey, 2023. The survey has been fielded to 26,000 working adults aged 20-75, across 23 international markets, including 1,000 in the UK (500 women) with a minimum household income of £10,000. The survey translation, data collection, research, and the subsequent data analysis were completed in partnership with Opinium, a third-party strategic insight agency, using their global research panel in conjunction with their partner vendors. Data collection took place in July 2023. 

Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association > Home (


3 conversations we should all be having about money

When it comes to your finances, it pays to talk

Emma-Lou Montgomery

Emma-Lou Montgomery

Fidelity International

What income should I expect in retirement?

You may not need as much as you think

Ed Monk

Ed Monk

Fidelity International