Prudential has revealed that nearly half (46 per cent) of women over the age of 40 who live with a partner have no pension of their own, according to new research 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 per cent) 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 per cent) 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 per cent) 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: "Pensions may not seem like the most exciting topic for a couple in their forties to be discussing, but couples who have not put time aside to discuss their retirement income plans run the risk of spending their later lives worse off than they had expected."
In regard to retirement planning, Smith-Hughes stressed how important it is for women to discuss their future finances with their partner, and preferably with a financial adviser too. According to Smith-Hughes, women who don't engage in these discussions could find themselves in financial trouble, especially if they outlive their loved one.
Smith-Hughes continued: "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. Joining a workplace pension scheme, considering a joint life annuity, so the income will continue after one partner dies, and topping up National Insurance contributions are all options which can increase income in retirement. These crucial issues should be discussed between couples and, in turn, with their financial advisers."
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Note to Editors:
Research by Vision Critical, on behalf of Prudential, was conducted among a sample of 2,003 people, including 501 retired, 324 semi-retired and working part-time, and 1,178 aged 40+ working full-time and living with their partner/spouse.
'Prudential' is a trading name of The Prudential Assurance Company Limited, which is registered in England and Wales. This name is also used by other companies within the Prudential Group, which between them provide a range of financial services including retirement planning, life assurance, and advice on pensions.
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