I have just read a report published by the Scottish Widow’s research team (see below). This report claims that more than half of married people would fight for a fair share in any jointly owned property and, yet fewer than one in 10 claim that they would want a fair share of pensions. In fact, the research shows that married people appeared to be more concerned about losing a pet during financial negotiations than sharing pensions.
The research goes on to state that this trend adversely affects women more than men and that generally women are less prepared for retirement than men, with only 52% having saved adequately. The percentage of men having saved adequately is a little higher at 59%.
However, divorced women are even less prepared. The figure is an astonishing 24% of women who have not saved anything into a pension. The statistic that I find most unbelievable is that currently 71% of divorced people do not even discuss pensions during divorce proceedings. What are their solicitors doing? Pension sharing as a financial remedy was introduced almost 20 years ago, and with clients of a certain age, it is often the most valuable asset after the matrimonial property. It is imperative that solicitors advise their clients about the possibility of pension sharing. This will sometimes result in the need for an expert actuarial report when you would like to compare income on retirement, as opposed to the cash value of the pensions at the time of divorce.
Louise Barretto is an Partner in our Family team.
If you have any queries about pensions on divorce or concerning family relationship and divorce matters more widely, please contact a member of our expert family team on email@example.com or call 020 7631 4141.