Wednesday 17 April 2019 12:27 am

Women risk ‘financial meltdown’ over individual pension rights, says report

Women across the age spectrum are at risk of getting into “severe financial difficulty” if they break up with their partner, because of a lack of control over their pension, according to research.

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In a Yougov poll, significant numbers of younger women said they had no long-term financial plans of their own, while older women too said they were relying heavily on the pension rights of a spouse or partner.

Around 45 per cent of women surveyed who were living with a partner said they were either not confident or did not know if their long-term financial plans were adequate if their relationship failed. Just 35 per cent of men surveyed felt the same way.

Only 38 per cent of women living with a partner aged between the ages of 18 and 34 said they were confident in their long term planning, compared to 58 per cent of men. Meanwhile, 30 per cent of women aged between 18 and 34 said they had made no long term plans at all, compared to 12 per cent of men.

Among older age groups, 56 per cent of women over 55 who were living with a partner said they were confident their financial plans would be adequate if their current relationship failed, the survey found. This compares to 68 per cent of men in the same age bracket.

Pension specialist at Royal London Helen Morrissey said the findings were “extremely worrying and show that we still have a long way to go to ensure women are building resilient retirement plans”.

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She added: “While it can be tempting to rely on the pension provision of a partner, particularly if it is generous, women risk financial meltdown should the relationship fail and they could find themselves in severe financial difficulty. We need to build on the success of auto-enrolment and encourage women to start saving early and build up their contributions so they can build a strong financial foundation for themselves.”