Women in Germany are usually worse off financially than men, even in old age. With gross annual incomes of an average of 18,663 euros, women aged 65 and over in 2023 were significantly behind men of the same age, who earned an average of 25,599 euros. The gender gap in retirement income, also known as the “Gender Pension Gap”, was 27.1 percent, as the Federal Statistical Office announced on Wednesday in Wiesbaden.

Important reasons for the gap include the higher part-time rate among women, lower-paying jobs and more frequent time off, for example for childcare. Retirement income includes old-age and survivors’ pensions, pensions and pensions from individual private provision.

Survivor pensions as a buffer

Without taking survivors’ pensions into account, the gender-specific pension gap would even grow to 39.4 percent, according to the statisticians. Around 29 percent of the women surveyed received payments from their deceased partners’ pension schemes. In comparison, only six percent of men received a survivor’s pension.

Because of their lower income, women are significantly more likely to be at risk of poverty in old age than men. According to the Federal Office, around one in five women (20.8 percent) aged 65 and over were at risk of poverty last year. The at-risk-of-poverty rate for men of the same age, however, was 15.9 percent. According to the EU definition, a person is considered to be at risk of poverty if their income is less than 60 percent of the average income of the entire population, taking into account the size and composition of the household.