The pension system must be reorganised so carers and people looking after children do not miss out, the Equal Opportunities Commission has said.
Its research found the current system of credits often fails to compensate people in full for not working, meaning women in particular are affected.
A coalition of groups has called for an end to ‘inequalities’ in the system.
The groups, including the TUC, Age Concern and the Women’s Pension Network, urged the government to end the ‘scandal’ of the poor level of pensions for women.
Jenny Watson, acting chairwoman of the EOC, said: “We need a new system that puts independence and equality at its heart and rewards the crucial work done by parents and carers.”