When I retire, I'll go travelling: a dream cherished by many, but increasingly out of reach for most. In fact, reaching retirement age will result in a substantial decline in income for a large part of the population. And especially for women.
We, at Delta Lloyd, are pension experts. We understand the importance of looking after your pension throughout your working life in order to avoid unpleasant surprises when you reach retirement age. In order to reach a wider audience with this story, we asked two Belgian women to make do with € 927 for two months as part of the ‘Women and retirement’ campaign in Belgium.
The campaign was launched on the International Day of Old Persons on 1 October 2011, and ended in March 2012. The two women (a veterinary surgeon and a psychologist) wrote a blog highlighting what a hard time they had making ends meet. After paying their monthly bills for housing, food and health care, there was hardly any money left. Living on a tight budget was a wake-up call for these two.
Women are often hard hit when they reach retirement age as their pensions tend, on average, to be lower than that of men. Because women sometimes stop work temporarily or switch to part-time jobs after starting a family, their pension build-up is lower. These decisions can have a substantial impact in their later years.
We hope it is a wake-up call not just for these two, but for many women. Delta Lloyd is trying to raise awareness about financial solutions, including retaining a decent income after retirement. We at Delta Lloyd try to take it one step further. After the campaign we met with the then-Minister for Pensions, who announced the idea of split pensions, meaning couples can voluntarily split their rights to a pension between them. His successor has said he wants to continue building on this idea.