Nearly three-quarters of divorced people did not discuss pensions during divorce proceedings according to Scottish Widows’ recent annual Women and Retirement Report 2017.
Seven in ten couples do not consider pensions during divorce proceedings, leaving women short-changed by £5bn every year, according to the new research
The research shows that more than half of married people (56 per cent) would fight for a fair share of any jointly owned property, and 36 per cent would want to split their combined savings. Yet fewer than one in ten (9 per cent) claim they want a fair share of pensions, despite the average married couple’s retirement pot totalling £132,000 – which is more than five times the average UK salary (£26,000).
In fact, more married people would be concerned about losing a pet during a settlement than sharing a pension (13 per cent vs 9 per cent) according to the research.
The key findings of the Scottish Widows’ report are:
- 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 – a quarter (24 per cent) are not saving anything 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.
Scottish Widows says that almost half of women (48 per cent) have no idea what happens to pensions when a couple gets divorced, which may explain why so few couples consider them as part of a settlement. A fifth (22 per cent) assume that each partner keeps their own pension and 15 per cent believe they are split 50- 50, no matter what the circumstances.
There are a large array of options when it comes to considering a fair division of pension assets or income following divorce or dissolution of a civil partnership. Pension sharing has been possible for almost 20 years, however, all too often it is not taken into account properly or at all.
Although some pension schemes are relatively straightforward, others (for example public sector schemes) can be complex.