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EOC calls for even bigger pension reforms

23rd November 2006

The chief of the Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC) has said that more needs to be done to close the pensions gender gap.

A report by the EOC and Scottish Widows has found that the forthcoming pensions reforms will reduce but not eliminate the disparity in pensions provision between men and women.

The report concluded that a combination of declining state pensions, combined with the constructing availability of private sector pension funds is still hitting women harder than men because of the time that they spend caring for others, or working on a self-employed basis.

"Although the reforms are definitely a step in the right direction – they will give better pensions to more parents and carers and they will enable more women to save – our research shows that there are still some gaps, and there's still a need for the government to make some changes and do some fine tuning," said EOC chief executive Caroline Stock to BBC Radio 4's Today programme.

"Part of the problem is that some people won't get the two state pensions, which is the bedrock for saving for their private pensions, and another problem is that there need to be some changes to personal accounts, partly because women's lives are different than men's."

The EOC report found that almost one third of women have no private pension and half stop saving when they have children.