Women are falling almost £30,000 behind men when it comes to saving for retirement, according to an annual report.
The Scottish Widows Women and Pensions Report warned that the gender gap for retirement savings has reached a record high, as women are "disproportionately hit" by the economic downturn.
Nearly half of women said they feel worse off than a year ago, compared with 41% of men, it said. The report found the gender gap in retirement savings has increased by more than 10% in 12 months.
Women are saving an average of £720 a year less than men for use in old age, compared with £617 last year.
Scottish Widows said it means a 30-year-old woman who maintains this average annual rate of saving will face a shortfall of £27,600 in today's money, compared with her male counterpart, if she chooses to retire at the age of 65.
The report also found that almost a quarter of women (24%) are now failing to put anything aside for old age, compared with 16% who were not saving last year. In comparison, 14% of men admitted to saving nothing for retirement.
Lynn Graves, head of business development for corporate pensions at Scottish Widows, said: "Important differences in lifestyle such as being more likely to work part-time or have a full-time caring role, mean women often find it more difficult to save for the long term and retirement.
"It has therefore never been more important for the pensions industry, government and employers to raise awareness of this gender gap in retirement savings and help women prioritise their pensions."
The Scottish Widows report found that 24% of women are prioritising debt repayments over saving for retirement, despite the average amount owed (excluding mortgages) dropping from £9,628 in 2011 to £7,092 this year.
Nearly a third of women said they would increase long-term saving to "save for a rainy day" and 34% have prioritised living expenses above saving for old age in the last year, according to the report.