Pension mistakes made by women in divorce could cost thousands

A new study has revealed that over 84 per cent of women failed to consider their husband’s pension during their divorce- potentially leaving them thousands of pounds out of pocket.

According to new research from Scottish Widow, women are putting themselves at risk of serious financial hardship later in life, because they fail to discuss their husband’s pension during divorce proceedings.

The research found that women tended to be on lower salaries, which contributed to them paying less into a pension after they have paid into household spending.

The banking group estimated that on save average women managed to put £206 a month into their pension, while men saved an average of £298.

Over a long period of time this means there is a vast difference between men and women’s pension pots, meaning women are more likely to rely on their partner’s pension for a large portion of their income in retirement.

In fact, the research showed that around a fifth of women in their 50s and 60s said they would need to rely on their spouse’s pension during retirement.

This means a significant proportion of women would struggle to manage financially in retirement if they were on their own.

And with life expectancy continuing to increase, and the age at which people are divorcing going up with it, there is a greater chance of women falling into financial difficulty following a split.

Current divorce legislation does take pensions into account, and is designed so that actuaries can estimate how much a pension is worth, so that solicitors can bring it into account when discussing the divisions of assets during a divorce.

For those considering divorce it is vital they get a pension valuation to understand whether savings are significant enough to merit more discussion when facing a splitting of finances.