Are Divorcing Women Neglecting Their Pensions?


When people divorce, money worries are one of the main concerns. Paying for the mortgage, paying for the car and making sure children are provided for are all considerations.

women need to think about their pensions
New statistics now show that more and more women are also missing out on a pension as part of their divorce settlement.

Pension Sharing Orders

Scottish Widows, a life, pensions and investment company, have conducted research which shows that 84% of divorced women didn’t think about their pension arrangements as part of their divorce settlement.

84% of women don't think about their pensions as part of their divorce settlement
In later life, women are suffering because they have fewer retirement savings, leading to hardship. When you're going through a divorce, it can be difficult to put things into perspective and take an objective view of what you may need in the future.

At some point during the divorce process, you will have to consider how you split any shared assets you have, including any pensions. It’s important to get the right legal advice at this stage to make sure that any assets are split and shared fairly between you and your ex partner.

There are 3 different ways that you can split a pension when you and your partner decide to separate, you can keep your whole private pension and offer cash or property to 'off-set' your spouse's right to part of it; you can reserve a portion of it for your spouse in retirement; or you could just split the pension now and transfer a cash sum to a pension pot in your spouse's name.

Finding an expert that can advise you on pension sharing orders is the best step you can take in this situation. Pension sharing orders allow you to take a percentage share of one or more of your ex-partner's pensions. A woman’s retirement savings may be less likely to match that of their male counterparts. Women generally have lower pension pots due to taking time out of their daily job roles to care for children. They could also have had a lower income than their male counterpart.

According to the Fawcett Society, the gender pay gap in 2013 widened for the first time in 5 years with women on average earning £5,000 less than their male equivalent.

Get Legal Advice Now

It's easy to let emotions cloud your financial stability for the future, but being without a proper pension can cause a lot of stress and heartache at a time when there may be fewer options and less time to rectify this.

To avoid risking financial hardship in later life, you should discuss your pension with your divorce solicitor. They have experience in the hardship of divorce and how it can affect you in the long run. They're also aware of the damaging effects that a bad divorce settlement that doesn’t take pensions into considerations can have.

Having this conversation with your solicitor can change the future leaving you secure in your later years.

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