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Only 15% of divorced women say that pensions featured in their settlement

One woman in ten over 50 is ‘wholly dependent’ on partner’s retirement savings

According to the eighth annual Scottish Widows Women and Pensions Report published earlier this month, out of the divorced women surveyed, just 15% said pensions were discussed as part of their settlement.

According to Scottish Widows, the impact of divorce on women's retirement is especially concerning because almost one in ten (8%) of women over 50 are wholly dependent on their partner's savings to fund them in retirement. This year's report uncovers that this group of older women are particularly vulnerable in terms of lack of retirement provision, with the number of women over 50 without a pension nearly double that of men of the same age (28%, compared with 15%).

Nearly half (43%) of women generally say that they are relying on joint savings with their partners to fund their retirement, according. However, with one in three marriages in the UK now ending in divorce by the fifteenth anniversary, Scottish Widows is urging women to make extra provisions for retirement, to avoid facing financial uncertainty in old age.

Based on a sample of 5,200 adults, polled by YouGov in March 2012, this year's report found that less than one in five (17%) of women trust their own savings to see them through retirement, compared to nearly a third (30%) of men.

Despite many women being dependent on their partners for their income in old age, the report finds that these precarious plans are often left unsaid. The vast majority (79%) of married women say that retirement was not discussed with their partner before they married, and 78% said they did not know what they would be entitled to from their partner's pension if they divorced.

Lynn Graves, Head of Business Development, Corporate Pensions at Scottish Widows said:

"We know that the pressure on household budgets and the challenge of managing childcare and wider family responsibilities whilst balancing work, can all make it more difficult for women to save for retirement. For many older or divorced women, this can mean relying on a partner or other family members to provide support or additional income in later life. However, unforeseen events can have a stark impact on retirement plans, and it is important for women make sure they know what they are entitled to and how much they can expect to receive in retirement."