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Home » Advice Centre » Exploring Pension Gender Disparity in Divorce Settlements

Exploring Pension Gender Disparity in Divorce Settlements

Posted on: 10 January 2022 by Goodwins Family Law Solicitors

Experts are calling for a change to divorce settlements after new research revealed a significant disparity between the pension wealth of men and women. 

Pensions are often of considerable value but tend to receive less weighting in a divorce settlement than other assets, some of which are usually of lower value. Now, thanks to new research from Manchester University, pensions may be about to take the spotlight for the first time. In this article, we explore the results of Manchester University’s research and discuss what it might mean for divorces going forward.

Pension Gender Disparity in Divorce Settlements

What did the research find?

Researchers at the University of Manchester studied the pension wealth of over 30,000 individuals over the age of 30. Their findings showed:

  • Married men have the largest pension
  • Married men aged 45-54 have a median pension wealth of approximately £86,000
  • Married men aged 55-64 have a median pension wealth of approximately £185,000
  • Married men aged 65-69 have a median pension wealth of approximately £260,000

Meanwhile:

  • Married women aged 45-54 have a median pension wealth of approximately £40,000
  • Married women aged 55-64 have a median pension wealth of approximately £55,800
  • Married women aged 65-69 have a median pension wealth of approximately £28,000

In all age groups, married men have a considerably larger pension than their spouses, with the 65-69 year old group having a difference of over £200,000.

In around half of couples that have a pension, one partner has over 90% of the overall pension wealth. Fewer than 15% of couples have pensions of approximately equal value.

What this means for women

The data shows that there is considerable potential for pension sharing in a divorce. Sharing the pension can significantly improve women’s finances in later life. 

It has been shown that women are most concerned with the house and the children when it comes to the divorce settlement. These are of such importance to them that they are usually willing to disregard other assets to ensure they secure a favourable outcome in regards to the house and the children. This tradeoff is usually done without even considering how much the pension is worth.

Pension reform is also called for due to the inconsistency in pension valuation in divorce cases across the country.

However, pension reform may be easier said than done, as it is reported that many men have strong emotional attachments to their pensions. 

At Goodwins Family Law Solicitors, we strive to help you achieve a fair and favourable outcome in your divorce settlement. Our expert lawyers have many years of experience in divorce law, and know what it takes to ensure you get the payout you deserve. 

Contact our team today to find out how we can help you.

Goodwins Family Law Solicitors is a registered company in England. © Goodwins Family Law Solicitors 2022. All Rights Reserved.

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