We get a recap on the work being done to combat the risks facing women and meet the new workstreams aiming to make an impact
Insuring Women's Futures is part of a wider Insuring Futures programme led by the CII in collaboration with a wide variety of leading insurance professionals, businesses, policy and third sector organisations, together with experts on issues relating to women's risks. It was established as part of the CII's remit to improve public trust in insurance and personal finance and to ensure the profession remains relevant in serving the whole of society.Insuring Women's Futures is part of a wider Insuring Futures programme led by the CII in collaboration with a wide variety of leading insurance professionals, businesses, policy and third sector organisations, together with experts on issues relating to women's risks. It was established as part of the CII's remit to improve public trust in insurance and personal finance and to ensure the profession remains relevant in serving the whole of society.
This article includes an update on the programme and how it is progressing the manifesto for change.
BACKGROUND AND PROGRAMME PURPOSE
The aims of the programme are two-fold: to help address women's significant lack of financial resilience with a view to supporting women and men across society to help improve women's, and all of our, financial security; and to enable the insurance and financial planning profession to develop its relationship with female consumers.
The programme is evidence-led through research authored by Jane Portas, one of the Insuring Women's co-founders and Women's Risks in Life lead, also a partner at PwC. Securing the Financial Future of The Next Generation identifies 12 key financial risks facing women through the life course (called Perils and Pitfalls) and 6 Moments that Matter where interventions may be made by women and men in society, financial services firms, employers, regulators and policymakers. Solving Women's pension deficit to improve retirement outcomes for all is a deeper dive into the root cause of women's pension deficit. Both reports together with our Female Financial Wellbeing Guide can be downloaded at:www.insuringwomensfutures.co.uk. This widely publicised and acknowledged research forms the backbone to Insuring Women's Futures' public manifesto for change sponsored and delivered by our Market Task Force and supported by individuals and firms across the profession.
As the Insuring Women's Futures Manifesto gathers momentum, the experienced executives leading its workstreams explain how they are approaching their respective tasks.
Here, we speak to our workstream chairs to find out more about the challenges they have been set and hear them explain how they have been approaching the task.
The workstreams have been in operation for about six months. In the first phase of their work, they have been mobilising their teams, gathering raw evidence, and engaging with a large number of stakeholders, organisations and experts.
WOMEN'S RISKS IN LIFE: COMMUNICATIONS VIA KEY PARTNERS
Work with strategic partners to communicate insights from the two reports: Securing the Financial Future of the Next Generation and Solving women's pension deficit to improve retirement outcomes for all.
Head of financial capability, strategy and Innovation, Money and Pensions Service
If men are part of the problem, they are certainly needed to be part of the solution. Our workstream is following the honourable motto: 'Simplify, then exaggerate.' We're trying to work out the most essential messages from the wealth of data that the programme has generated to date, and find the influencers who will benefit from hearing them most.
PENSIONS POLICY GAMECHANGERS
To develop proposals to improve women's pension provision throughout the life course, and open dialogue with government, employers and wider society to help bring about change.
Director of policy, long-term savings and protection, Association of British Insurers
Our workstream brings together a terrific group of people from across the long-term savings sector, policy and research experts, lawyers and consumer advocates. We are gathering evidence from politicians and campaigners to ensure our hypotheses and ultimate proposals are well evidenced and take account of the existing work in this field.
We need to tackle this as a society and the programme is a great opportunity to make a real difference.
WOMEN'S PENSIONS EMPOWERMENT
To educate, engage and empower women to significantly increase the contributions they are able and choose to make to their pension through their lives.
Distribution director, Scottish Widows
I was delighted to get involved as I was leading the women and finance activity at Scottish Widows, where our research on women and pensions in particular had grabbed my attention, and I was alarmed at the extent of the pensions gap between the genders. (1)
My workstream has narrowed our areas of interest down to three key areas of motherhood, divorce, and the role of employers. The group has many ideas around more targeted information and education to women at key life stages.
YOUNG FEMALES' FINANCIAL AWARENESS
Positively shift societal support for women in building their financial resilience and independence.
CEO general insurance, Legal & General
We need to give women much more confidence in taking ownership of their financial affairs so they can discuss it more openly with friends and in relationships.
My workstream looks at specific Moments in the younger generation's life that may be critical, and how we can engage them more in some of the decisions they make both for their current lifestyle and their future security. (2)
FEMALE FINANCIAL INCLUSION STANDARDS
To develop and promote standards in the insurance and financial planning profession that will improve the financial inclusion, engagement and resilience of female customers.
The statistics in the two key research reports: Securing the Financial Future of the Next Generation and Solving Women's pension deficit to improve retirement outcomes for all reports show both an unacceptable protection and pension gap for women and a missed opportunity for the market.
A draft professional standard is being prepared, joining up the FCA's consumer outcomes approach with principles that can be applied across all business functions, including marketing, sales and distribution, customer service, claims, complaints and compliance. These principles will then be embedded within the profession through CII learning material with case studies based on representative consumer personas.
Market-wide 'Moments that Matter'
To lead changes in market practices that support greater financial resilience for women by enhancing customers' awareness and understanding of how our solutions and services respond in their Moments that Matter.
Chief underwriting officer -- retail, Hiscox
The research was my motivator; it is both compelling and shocking. While I had seen some similar statistics before, what was really surprising to me was the compound impact over a lifetime and how early choices influence the gap.
Our workstream has fantastic representation from across the industry and I am grateful that so many have committed their time. We have created sub-teams, working with the benefit of additional expertise in the fields of life, health and general insurance. We are working to analyse and create sector recommendations for each of the Moments that Matter.
To address the impact of parenthood and caring on the financial security of women working in the insurance and financial-planning profession.
Director of public affairs, Virgin Money
The shocking results of the in-depth Insuring Women's Futures research (3) revealed that key Moments that Matter negatively affect the financial vulnerability of women. In 2019, we must take action because fairness and equality for everyone will undoubtedly improve behaviours, culture, productivity and financial resilience for men and women.
Together, the insurance profession is a significant employer in the UK. Our aim is to achieve a culture change that improves the lives of everyone working in the sector, both now and in the future.
We currently have 800 ambassadors but we are always looking for more to help us spread the word, reach new audiences, provide input on areas of expertise, sponsor events and media profile to help realise change, embed the Moments that Matter into business practices, and simply to keep up to date and engage in our programme and work generally. Please take a moment to visit insuringwomensfutures.co.uk where you can find a wealth of material including a short video and downloadable documents. In the top right-hand corner, follow the link 'Become an Ambassador' for more information about the role and to join the programme.
- Only 37% of females aged 18-24 years feel very confident managing their money compared with 48% of males. Female apprentices earn 21% less than male apprentices due to the sectors they choose to work in; only 17% of those studying degrees representing the higher paid jobs of the future are women.
- 4/5ths of millennial women do not discuss pensions with their partners, and notwithstanding married women's pensions are 1/5th of married men's, 75% of divorcing couples do not discuss pensions sharing. On top of this, over 1/3rd of people don't realise that cohabitees do not enjoy the same legal rights as married couples -- the median pension for separated women in zero. 50% of people falling below the auto enrolment threshold are part time of which 80% are women.
- 61% of mothers return to work part time, earning 30% less per hour than full time women causing the gender pay gap to double from 9% (full time only) to 18%. With women earning 80% less than men over their lifetime this has significant implications for their life long financial resilience.