New research has found that as many as 70% of Scottish couples don’t take pensions into consideration during divorce proceedings, and as a result women are losing out by around £337 million every year.
According to the study by Scottish Widows
, 50% of married people in Scotland would fight for a fair share of any jointly owned property, and 32% would want to split their combined savings. Yet fewer than one in 10 (9%) claim they want a fair share of pensions, despite the average married couple’s retirement pot in Scotland totalling £109k – that’s more than four times the average UK salary (£26k).
Overall, women are less well prepared for retirement than men in Scotland, with 49% saving adequately for the future compared with 69% respectively. Furthermore, two-fifths of married women in Scotland (43%) say their retirement prospects would become worse as a result of a split, compared with just 28% of men.
Even if pensions are discussed during a divorce settlement, women in the UK are still missing out – 16% lost access to any pension pot when they split with their partner and 10% were left relying completely on the State Pension
“It is important that everyone – whether single, married or divorced – take steps to understand their finances and prepare for their independent future should a relationship break down,” commented Catherine Stewart, Retirement Expert at Scottish Widows. “We would urge men and women to better understand the legalities around what happens to pension pots during divorce proceedings, as often they are the second largest, if not the largest asset a couple owns.”
For expert legal advice on pensions and divorce, and other areas of family law, then contact our specialist family law solicitors today.