30th April 2015
While historically there has been a punitive pay-gap between the sexes new research claims that young women are more likely to earn a bigger salary than their partners.
The analysis from insurer LV=, showed that it is more common for women to out earn their partners amongst the younger generations but even overall in the UK, one in five households now consists of a couple where the women’s take home pay is higher than their other half.
The findings revealed that couples aged 55 plus have the lowest number of households in which women earn the most, at just 16%. This figure however rises to 21% among females aged 35-54 and increases to 25% amongst those aged 18-24. A 22% of households consist of couples where each partner earns a comparable level of income, meaning it is just half of households that now have a man as the breadwinner.
But the study also suggests that for women the increased spending power comes with a feeling of greater responsibility and stress. The survey concluded that women who earn more than their partners are more likely to say they feel the pressure to maintain a regular income than their male peers. Of those women who earn more than their partners, four in 10, at 43% admit that they feel very aware of their financial commitments and how important it is for them to stay in work, compared with just over a third of men, at 34%.
Despite women worrying more about their financial responsibility, just 27% have a financial back up plan such as income protection in place which would ensure that they could continue to fund their lifestyle and living costs if they were unable to work, suggesting that many could find themselves in a financially vulnerable position if the unexpected were to happen.
Commenting on the research Myles Rix, managing director of protection at LV= said: “With an increasing number of households where the woman earns more than her partner, it’s clear to see that younger generations are bucking this trend. While it is great to see that women who earn more than their partners are proud of their career achievements, the flipside of this is that they are feeling stressed about their financial responsibilities. Regardless of gender, having a backup plan such as income protection in place could significantly relieve financial pressure within a household at a time when finances are stretched.”