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'The financial impact of divorce can be devastating both in the short and longer-term, lasting well into retirement as divorcees experience expected retirement incomes of as much as 16 per cent lower than those who’ve never divorced. Deciding on living costs and childcare at the point of divorce is difficult enough, but a pension fund is likely to be one of the most complicated assets a couple will have to split in the event of a divorce.
Retirees who divorced a while ago may want to consider seeking updated professional financial advice on any post-retirement plans they have made, particularly in the light of recent changes to pension legislation. There are also important differences in divorce law between Scotland, and England and Wales. Legal advice in the early stages of separation is therefore crucial.'
'Next to the family home, the pension is often the biggest asset in a divorce case. If pension savings have been built during the marriage, they are commonly split equally. Given recent pension changes and the increased flexibility of some pensions, there is a rising trend for divorcing wives to seek a pension rather than taking other assets in place of pensions, which used to be the typical position.
Additionally, new pension rules allow some pensions to be passed down one or two generations in a tax-efficient manner. These advantages appear to be attractive to increasing numbers of divorcing wives who are keen to trade other types of assets in a financial settlement to secure pension provision.'
'The rise in divorce rates among women aged 55-plus is particularly worrying as women, unfortunately, tend to have lower retirement incomes than men.'
'Baby boomers, now in their 50s and 60s, are fuelling the rise in divorces among older couples. With husbands or wives approaching the ends of their careers and regular earned incomes, pension provision is especially important for a divorcing couple. They have to focus on financing separate lives in retirement which could last, in some cases, for a number of decades.'
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