Too many women rely on partner’s pension

Nia Williams

September 16, 2010

This is according to Prudential’s latest ‘Retirement Shock’ research which found that more than one in four women (28%) aged 40 and above but not yet retired who live with their partner/spouse, say they will be relying on an income from their spouse or partner’s pension as their main source of retirement income, compared to just 4% of men.

A further one-fifth (22%) of these women say they will be relying on the state pension and other benefits for their main retirement income.

Despite more than a quarter planning to rely on their partners’ pensions, the research shows that a third of these women (34%) say they either do not know or understand the retirement savings details and benefits of their spouses. The research shows 62% of working men aged 40-plus living with their spouse or partner have pensions that will provide an income for them alone.

Prudential research already shows that women planning to retire this year expect an estimated average retirement income of £12,200 a year, while men expect to receive an estimated average income of £19,600.

Prudential believes the relatively high level of ‘third party’ pension dependency could prevent the gender gap from closing in future and could leave many women in a financially exposed position.

It is urging those women who expect to rely on other sources for an income in retirement to take action to ensure a degree of financial independence.

Vince Smith-Hughes, head of pensions development at Prudential said: “Relying on someone else’s pension and savings and the meagre amount provided by the State to support you in retirement is an extraordinarily risky strategy. It is understandable that many women do not have retirement savings of their own but while they’re still working and have got many years to go before they retire then now is the time to take control of the situation and their own destiny, and start making retirement savings plans.”

To help couples understand the sorts of conversations they should have with their spouse or partner, Prudential has launched an online guide at www.pru.co.uk/couplesconversations, which also features a short video.

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