The study, carried out by the Economic and Social Sciences Institute (WSI) at the Hans Böckler Foundation, found that a “Gender Pension Gap” of about 53 percent exists.
Researchers came to these findings after analyzing the state, corporate and private pensions of both genders.
“Women are hardly able to compensate for pension losses when it comes to the state pension,” said WSI researcher Dr. Christina Klenner.
In 2015, men received an average of €1,154 per month from the state pension, while women received €634 each month – a difference of 45 percent.
The authors of the study write that it is particularly important for women to have a stronger state pension, as many women could get nothing or very low income from corporate and private pensions.
When it comes to corporate pensions, the gender gap is even greater: men receive €593 per month and women get €240.
Five percent of men and two percent of women moreover receive monthly payments from private pensions: €485 and €311 on average, respectively.
What could account for the gender gap that exists in all three areas of the pension system? The authors point to the traditional division of labour between the sexes.
In comparison to men, working women more often take time off to raise children or care for relatives, work part-time more often and are paid on average 20 percent less. For these reasons they collect fewer pension entitlements.
Despite the fact that more and more women are in full-time employment and taking less time off, there’s still a long way to go before real gender equality is achieved; a gap of 24 percent exists when it comes to the state pension income of currently employed people between the ages of 25 and 65.
Compared to the rest of Europe, Germany has one of the highest gender pension gaps – only in Luxembourg is the percentage slightly higher.