Over half of married people have no plans for their pensions if they get divorced

According to Fidelity, 12% of married women say they plan to rely on their spouse’s pension during retirement.

Financial planning August 14, 2019 by Tom Bailey

Roughly half of married people have opted not to make arrangements for what will happen to their pension in the event of a divorce, according to a survey conducted by Fidelity International.

The survey found that 56% of women and 60% of men said they had no plans for what would happen to their pensions should their marriage break down.

According to Fidelity, there were 101,669 divorces of opposite-sex couples in England and Wales in 2017.

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Emma-Lou Montgomery, associate director for Fidelity International, says: “Having a plan in place for your pensions is imperative and it’s concerning to see these figures showing just how unprepared married couples are when it comes to their long-term finances.”

While the number of men not making pension contingency plans was higher, Montgomery argues that the issue is “particularly crucial for women”.

She says: “[Women] are still more likely to take time off work to begin a family than men. Taking a career break can easily put you at a financial disadvantage and over-reliance on a partner’s pension in the future leaves you vulnerable, should the worst happen.”

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Separate data from the Wealth & Assets survey shows that the average divorced woman has a pension worth £131,000, compared with £454,000 for the average married couple.

According to Fidelity’s survey, around one in 10 (12%) married women say that they plan to rely on their spouse’s pension during retirement, while 17% of married women surveyed had no pension of their own at all.

Under current rules, a woman may be entitled to claim some of a spouses pension in the event of divorce if their spouses work or family life reduced their own earnings potential.

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