Many individuals don’t realise that pensions can be the largest, or second largest assets, after the family home, in divorce proceedings.

Divorced women are missing out on over £5bn pensions payments annually.

Women are generally less prepared for retirement and don’t save as much into pensions as men.

Catherine Stewart, retirement expert at Scottish Widows, said: “Generally speaking women’s retirement prospects are worse than men’s. The persistent gender pay gap, maternity leave and career breaks can all hold back women’s earning potential and this often impacts pension savings. Relationship breakdowns can leave people really vulnerable but, quite simply, they’re also throwing significant sums of money down the drain.”

Scottish Widows have produced a report, based on interviewing over 5,000 people and found that:

7/10 couples don’t consider pensions when coming to a financial settlement in divorce proceedings
Only 9% think it is important to get a good deal relating to a pension
13% of couples are more concerned with losing their pet than their share of a pension
56% of married couples would fight for a fair share of the family home
36% of couples would want to split their joint savings
Only 9% claim they want a fair share of pensions
15% believe pensions are split 50/50
22% believe that each person keep their own pension
48% do not know what happens to pensions in a divorce settlement
71% of individuals did not discuss pensions in their divorce settlement

This problem is made worse by the fact that the majority of individuals need to pay privately for their legal advice during divorce proceedings, since the changes to Legal Aid in 2013. Consequently, more and more individuals are representing themselves in divorce proceedings and are therefore unaware of all the assets that need to be considered and how these are dealt with legally.

Investment in legal and financial expert advice could result in a larger settlement, particularly for women, and be worth the expense.

Our Family Lawyer shares their top tips on key areas to consider:

  1. If you are going through divorce proceedings always get an up to date valuation of your pension and the other party’s pension, from the pension provider.
  2. Always consider pensions when looking at financial settlements.
  3. Invest in legal advice if there is no agreement over the financial settlement.
  4. Consider legal advice to guide you through the process of financial settlement during divorce proceedings.
  5. A financial settlement in divorce proceedings is usually final, once approved by the Court, so it is important to be certain regarding your entitlement before reaching a final agreement.

At OH Parsons we can provide you with expert advice, represent you and guide you through the legal process of divorce and financial settlements.  If you are considering getting a divorce or are going through a divorce and would like impartial legal advice, please do get in touch with our friendly Family Law expert.

Deepa Sidhu

Deepa is our Family Law expert, with clear and concise advice, Deepa can help on all matters arising within Family Law.  Call Deepa now on 020 7379 7277 or email

24Hr Advice 0800 526 368
24Hr Advice 0800 526 368