During divorce proceedings women are ignoring more than £5bn in pensions payments every year.

According to a recent report, the vast majority of couples did not discuss pensions as a part of their settlement in order to share them fairly. This is a staggering statistic given 42% of marriages end in divorce.

The Scottish Widows Annual Retirement Report shows that woman are badly affected by the loss of pension during a divorce. They tend to have smaller pots of their own due to the gender pay gap, maternity leave, possible career breaks, and child care responsibilities.

It was found that women are less prepared for retirement overall, with only 52% of women adequately saving for retirement, in comparison to 59% of men. On divorce the figures begin to diminish further with 24% of divorced women not saving anything for retirement and 19% of women stating that their prospects had worsened because of divorce.

Almost half of divorced women are unsure of what happens to their pension when they divorce.

The key findings from the Scottish Widows Report:

  • Women are less well-prepared for retirement, with only 52 per cent saving adequately compared with 59 per cent of men
  • Divorced women are even less prepared – about a quarter (24 per cent) save nothing into a pension
  • Nearly three-quarters (71 per cent) of divorced people did not discuss pensions during divorce proceedings
  • Divorced women are missing out on £5bn in pension payments every single year

Crucially the report suggests that whilst 56% of married couples would insist on a fair share of  any jointly owned property, 36% of married couples would want to share their combined savings, 13% are concerned about pets but only 9% want a fair share of pensions. 

Pensions are usually a substantial proportion of the total fruits of a marriage and therefore it is imperative that women going through separation or divorce get specialist advice so that pensions are a key topic in settlement discussions.

For more information on this or any family and divorce related matter, please contact Mike Spencer on 0115 9 100 200 or click here to send an email.

Posted on Tue, 2nd January 2018

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