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Just one in seven divorcing couples include pension in financial settlement, study reveals

Less than one in seven divorcing couples include pensions in their financial settlement, a major study has revealed.

The research, published by Which? – the consumer research group, suggests that separating partners are making major mistakes when it comes to divorce.

According to the report, an alarming 85 per cent of divorce settlements do not consider pensions and how they might be shared.

This is despite pensions accounting for around 42 per cent of total household wealth – meaning pensions are typically worth more than wealth held in property (36 per cent) and are the single biggest asset in divorce.

The survey, carried out in November 2021, also reveals that not only are pensions not included, but are often left out of conversations.

Laws introduced in 2000 meant that divorcees can now share pensions, but just 58 per cent of participants said pensions were not put on the table at divorce proceedings.

Research suggests that by not sharing pensions, women are statistically more likely to experience poverty after divorce. That’s because the average man aged between 65 and 69 will typically have 10 times more in his pension pot than the average woman will have.

Get advice today

In divorce proceedings, partners can usually choose between one of the following options:

  • Sacrifice or “offset” one person’s pension in exchange for another asset, such as the family home
  • Share a percentage of one person’s pension
  • Or pay an income or lump sum when one person starts taking their pension.

For help and advice with related matters, please get in touch with our family law team today.

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