Elderly women are commonly disadvantaged in social security and pensions as compared to men. Women often make career choices that adversely affect their pension rights. They tend to give up their careers if the husband or family demand it. They tend to take more and longer career breaks, usually in order to raise children, or to allow their spouses the possibility of moving for career reasons. They are more likely to choose contract or part-time work, and they often choose careers in the services sector; in these cases, they are usually not eligible for company pension schemes, even if such are available. In many countries, the courts do not automatically split pensions equally in divorce settlements, and inheritance laws do not always give women a 50% stake in any savings or investments that have accrued within marriage. Because women, on average, live longer than men, they are more are more vulnerable and at risk of social exclusion due to an inadequate income in their old age.
In the UK about 53% of the women of working age will face a drastic drop in living standards when they retire, as compared to 40% of the men.