Scottish Widows Suggests Divorced Women Miss Out on £5bn of Pension Payments Each Year

Published: 10th November 2017

Following new research conducted by Scottish Widows, it has been found that 70% of couples never consider pensions throughout their divorce, meaning that women are missing out on approximately £5 billion per year. The research has highlighted some key statistics regarding this issue, which should almost certainly influence a change to divorce proceedings in the future.

The Research Findings

The research states that 56% of married people would look to take a fair share of property that is jointly owned and 36% would opt to split their joint savings; however less than 10% suggest that they would want a fair share of pensions. The average retirement fund of a married couple is £132,000, and so not taking their fair share of money shows just how much money really could be missed out on. Surprisingly, more people (13% compared to 9%) would be more interested in keeping their pet as part of their settlement than sharing their pension pot.

The research, which was conducted by Scottish Widows, has revealed some very important findings regarding pensions within divorces. The key findings from the report are:

  • Divorced women are missing out on approximately £5bn of pension payments each year.
  • 71% of divorced people did not discuss pensions at any stage of their divorce proceedings.
  • Women are not as well prepared for retirement as men, with 52% of women and 59% of men saving sufficiently for their retirement. Divorced women are typically even less prepared, with almost 25% contributing nothing towards a pension.

Pensions in Divorces

Scottish Widows have stated that 48% of women are unsure about what happens to pensions once the couple are divorced, and this could be the reason for such a small amount of cases involving pensions as part of the settlement. With 22% of women believing that each partner keeps their own pension and 15 per cent presuming that they are split equally between them, it is clear that more needs to be done to address the situation.

Although pension sharing was introduced almost 20 years ago, it is still a known fact that pensions are not being considered in the way that they should be within divorce proceedings. This issue is also made significantly worse by the lack of legal aid available, meaning that many individuals have to face the difficult financial aspect of a divorce without any legal advice. A combination of the potentially difficult nature of complex pensions and a lack of legal aid means that women in particular will face a tough time in relation to their fair share of pension payments in the future.

If you are thinking about separation or divorce and you are concerned about your finances then K J Smith Solicitors can help. Our team will strive to deliver a positive outcome without conflict and in the most amicable way possible.

For more information or to arrange a free 45-minute consultation, please contact K J Smith Solicitors today on 01491 630000 (Henley on Thames), 020 7070 0330 (London), 0118 418 1000 (Reading), 01753 325000 (Windsor), 01256 584000 (Basingstoke) 01483 370100 (Guildford), 01494 629000 (Beaconsfield) or 01235 375500 (Abingdon).

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