Women using drawdown can expect to receive £47,000 less in their pension pot over a typical 20 year retirement period, according to Zurich.
The firm's research showed men in drawdown had an average pension pot of £212,000, which, with 3% annual investment returns, could secure an annual income of £6,360. In contrast, women had an average pension pot of £132,000, which could equate to an income of just £3,990 annually.
This means women could receive £2,370 less per year and would need to find riskier investments yielding 5% to match the retirement income of their male counterparts, according to the firm's report, Drawdown: Is it working for consumers?
The report also stated that, with a woman's life expectancy being higher than a man's, they will "need to stretch out their pot over a longer period".
The study was based on a YouGov survey of 742 people who have moved into drawdown since the pension freedoms were introduced in 2015. The survey was carried out between 14 December 2017 and 24 January 2018.
The same study found 41% of women switching into drawdown had no investment experience compared to 29% of men, while some 13% of women said they never check the performance of their investment portfolio, compared to 6% of men.
Meanwhile, under a fifth (17%) of women said they never review or adjust their investments in drawdown, compared to one in ten men.
The firm's head of strategic partnerships Rose St Louis said: "Women already face barriers to securing a comfortable retirement income, and it's no longer just down to the pay gap or career breaks. Pension freedoms have given people far greater choice in how they access and spend their retirement savings, but there are clearly unintended consequences emerging."
She added that, for women, a smaller pot at retirement combined with a longer life expectancy means investing wisely is crucial.
"If consumers are less engaged with their pension then they are at risk of making poorer decisions that could result in a lower income, or even outliving their savings. For both men and women, the need for financial advice and guidance in retirement is greater than ever."
The research comes after the Financial Conduct Authority found that many people accessing their pots via drawdown often make their decision before contacting advisers, and therefore do not explore all options.
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