Women losing out on pensions in divorce settlements

1 October 2018

Women losing out on pensions in divorce Age UK have highlighted that divorced women could be losing out on substantial sums of money in retirement without even realising it, thanks to the fact that their husband's private pension is often left out of the process.

While divorcing couples usually consider how to divide up assets such as their home and cars, pension assets are often left out of settlements, leading to one partner usually a woman, being made worse off than they could or should be in later life said the charity.

Age UK charity director Caroline Abrahams said: "The money many divorced women are currently going without could make the difference between having to count the pennies or being comfortably off in retirement, so this has huge implications for them.

"It is extraordinary and frankly unacceptable that so many women are potentially missing out on significant sums of money when they divorce, sometimes without even realising they have lost future income which probably should have been theirs."

Baroness Ros Altmann, a former pensions minister welcomed the report.

"For far too long, women in this country have been short-changed in pensions. They work fewer years, earn less than men and have even been disadvantaged by the state pension rules. Such gender inequality is unacceptable in 21st-century Britain.

"Women who are already over 50 have been particularly poorly-served by the UK pension system over the years. Too often it was assumed that a woman would be able to rely on a husband or partner&pos;s pension and, therefore, did not need her own retirement resources"

"With a steep rise in divorce rates and much greater numbers of women being single in later life, it is absolutely vital that all women have the best possible chance to build up their own pension and also have a full state pension.

Baroness Ros Altmann said any woman who is going through divorce needs to think carefully about pension prospects.

She said: "The financial settlement in a divorce must consider pension assets, just as all other money that has stemmed from the marriage."

According to research from Salisbury House Wealth, a leading financial firm, pension pots are increasingly the second highest value assets in a divorce settlement. Statistics from the Ministry of Justice however showed that just 18% of divorces where financial awards were made involved pension splitting or attachment orders.

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      Josh was a Business Development Manager at Smart Pension. Josh served as Smart Pension's Business Development Manager from November …