The University of Manchester Research has published a report entitled: Pensions and Divorce: Exploratory Analysis of Quantitative Data.
The report has found that, within couples, men have substantially more private pension wealth than women. This poses challenges should they divorce.
The researchers looked at the pension wealth of almost 30,000 people over the age of thirty. They found married men have the most, with those aged 45-54 having a median pension wealth of about £86,000. This compared with £40,000 for married women. Married men aged 55-64 had a median pension wealth of £185,000 compared with £55,800 for married women. For those aged 65-69, the gap is even wider. Median pension wealth for men of that age is just over £212,000, compared to just £35,000 for women.
The data also showed one partner has more than 90% of the pension wealth around half the time. Fewer than 15% of couples have similar levels of pension savings.
What were the conclusions of the report?
The researchers found there is considerable potential for pension sharing when it comes to divorce. This could have a substantial positive effect on women’s finances in later life.
The report includes a particularly useful video that aims to help divorcing couples understand the legal context for pension sharing. This in turn references the survival guide to pensions on divorce, also produced for the public, which came out earlier this year.
The issue here is not so much the pension inequality, but that divorcing couples often fail to consider their pension wealth when dividing their money and property. This is despite the existence of a long-standing mechanism that is available for them to do so. Hopefully, this video will provide an immediately accessible introduction to the possibility of undertaking a pension share.