09 January, 2019
Divorced women over 50 end up with pensions worth £100,000 less than their ex partners
The press has recently reported that divorced women over 50 end up with pensions worth £100,000 less than their ex-partners. This is very worrying, but unfortunately this is something that is often not being thoroughly pursued by spouses when resolving the financial aspects of a divorce.
We always recommend that a Pensions' Actuary carries out a report on the parties pension(s) so as to provide for equality in either the parties income upon retirement or capital fund on retirement.
The difficulty is a lot of clients in their 40's despite having built up a pension fund of almost 20 years, often do not give sufficient weight to the pension assets upon divorce. A lot of clients indicate that they are not bothered about the pension and are more concerned about the immediate and available assets, such as the house, savings, motor vehicles etc.
Solicitors can, of course, only advise clients and ultimately the decision is theirs as to how they want to settle their matter.
Cost is also a factor, but spending approximately £1,500 to £2,000 on obtaining a Pension Actuaries Report is money well spent, particularly as on retirement this could provide you with another £5,000 to £10,000 per annum for each year you are retired.
The longer the marriage, the more the division of assets should be equal and ultimately a pension fund can be worth more than the former matrimonial home, the difficulty is the pension seems so far away when you have another 20-30 years working life ahead of you and as indicated above, therefore insufficient weight is attached to that matrimonial asset.
It is of concern that the Office for National Statistics have concluded that the average divorced woman over 50 is considerably worse off therefore in relation to pensions than divorced men over 50. We would strongly urge that you obtain independent financial advice, coupled alongside Family Law advice and, obtain a Pensions Actuary Report to ensure that the outcome you achieve is fair and just given all your circumstances.
For further information please contact Judith Wright by email or call 01772 220022.