Women earn a million from work 20 years after men

The average man makes a million by the time they are 51, while women have to work until they turn 70 to chalk up 7 figures.

by Rachel Savage
Last Updated: 02 Jul 2014

It is a truth universally acknowledged, and one that MT gets angry about until its face turns blue, that women are paid less than men. Sometimes, though, that truth gets a little starker.

A man starting work at 18 and earning the average wage for his age throughout his career will have earned £1m pre-tax before their 51st birthday, according to Office for National Statistics data crunched by pensions company Prudential. A woman, on the other hand, would have to work past retirement age to beyond 70 to chalk up seven figures.

The average worker would need to work until they are 56, showing the skew towards men in the workplace, as many women still take years, if not decades, out to have children.

A sliver of good news is that that age has fallen by two years for women since Pru last looked at the data in 2012, as women’s average earnings have risen while the average income of men in their 30s and 40s has fallen.

By the time the average worker has netted £1m, they will have paid out around £123,000 in tax and £93,000 in National Insurance. Looks like most of us won’t ever actually take home a million then...

Find this article useful?

Get more great articles like this in your inbox every lunchtime