Research by the Pensions Policy Institute (PPI) in 2003 investigated the future pension incomes of women, disabled and ethnic minority people. It constructed hypothetical case studies who have the characteristics observed of these groups, and compared their estimated pension incomes with the individual who was then typically used as the stereotype for policy analysis, namely the traditionally-employed median-earning male. Women, disabled and ethnic minority people were found to be ‘under-pensioned’ when compared to this particular policy stereotype.

Since the original PPI analysis, the Government has introduced major reforms to both state and private pensions, which had a specific aim to be fair to women and carers. These reforms are likely to improve significantly women’s pension incomes. The time is now ripe to review the pension situation of the other groups, and consider to what extent the recent reforms will help them. This new research has been commissioned from the PPI by the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) to examine the specific pension situation of disabled people and people from ethnic minorities.


Chapter one briefly summarises the evidence on women and pensions, since women have some similar characteristics to disabled people and people from ethnic minorities.

Chapter two considers the definition of disability, looks at the working patterns and earnings of disabled people, and as a result, their retirement income. 

Chapter three looks at the evidence on ethnic minority groups including employment rates, gender, earnings and pension accumulation.

Chapter four uses hypothetical individuals with some of the characteristics observed of these groups to illustrate their potential future incomes.


To download the report, please click here. 

To download the executive summary, please click here.