Women are biggest losers in retirement

Nia Williams

November 3, 2011

Nearly half (46%) of women over the age of 40 who live with a partner have no pension of their own, according to new research by Prudential into couples’ attitudes to retirement.

The extent of women’s reliance on a partner’s pension and the State is not the only shock finding from the research, which also highlights that many UK couples could be sleep-walking into retirement poverty as they have no idea what pension income they will need to live on.

More than half (56%) of couples aged over 40 have not worked out how much money they will need to live on in retirement, with two in five (40%) admitting to having no financial plans in place for life after work.

British couples also seem reluctant to discuss with each other the finances that will support them in later life. One in five couples (20%) admit to never having discussed joint retirement financial planning, while only half of those who have already retired made a joint decision about the annuity they bought.

Vince Smith-Hughes, head of business development at Prudential, said: “Women who think they can rely on their other half’s pension income without having discussed retirement plans with their partner – and preferably with a financial adviser too – could find themselves in financial trouble, especially if they outlive their loved one. Sitting down together and working out jointly what you will need to live on is an important part of making the right provision for the future.

“People may feel they can’t afford to significantly boost their retirement savings in the current financial climate, but taking even the smallest of steps can have a positive impact. These crucial issues should be discussed between couples and, in turn, with their financial advisers.”

Sign up to our daily email