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How will a divorce affect my pension?

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A study recently run by Prudential showed that those who get divorced can expect a retirement income that is nearly £4,000 per year less than non-divorcees.

Why are divorcees worse off in retirement? 

It could be that divorcees feel secure when they obtain a pension share, and think that they do not need to do any more than await retirement. However, this is not true – whilst a pension share will, in basic terms, secure a portion of a pension, it is what you do with this portion which will determine the retirement income that you receive. What if you are the divorcee who has had, for example, their pension halved? How do you increase your pension pot?  

Some good news

There is a lot to think about, but it is not all doom and gloom – there is some good news for those considering divorce as the study suggests that whilst being divorced means that you are more likely to retire in debt, the debt of divorcees will generally be lower. This could be because of the encouragement of divorcing couples towards a clean break i.e. severing all financial ties with a spouse, where appropriate.     

How could getting a divorce affect my pension?

I am sorry to say that there is not a textbook answer for this unfortunately, and it would be misleading for any professional to say that there is a one size fits all approach.

Pensionable assets are complicated and an important element of financial security – it is vital to seek both legal advice and independent financial advice upon the implications, so that you are aware of what will happen if a Pension Sharing Order is made, how to make the most of the pensionable asset that you receive, or how to invest the remainder that you have left.   

How do I make a decision about what to do?

At Birkett Long LLP we have a team of specialist divorce and separation lawyers who are committed to dealing with disputes involving divorce and the division of financial assets, and a dedicated team of independent financial advisers.

If you have any questions please speak to one of our divorce and separation specialists for a free 15 minute chat over the phone on 01206 217384 or alternatively email Click here for more about divorce or ending a relationship.

For financial advice, Birkett Long Independent Financial Advisers are able to assist you in respect of pensions.  Please contact the team on 01206 217309.