More than a quarter of women are relying on their partner's pension to fund their retirement, research from Prudential has discovered.
Prudential's latest Retirement Shock report reveals that a significant proportion of women are expecting to fund their retirement with their partner's pension, leaving themselves financially vulnerable.
Of those surveyed, 28 per cent of women who are aged 40 or older and live with their partner/spouse said they intend to rely on their partner's pension as their main retirement income, compared to four per cent of men who said the same.
But despite pinning their hopes for financial security in retirement on their partner's pension, 34 per cent said they do not know or understand the retirement savings of their spouses, and the research shows that 62 per cent of working men's pensions aged 40 or older who are living with a spouse or partner have pensions that will only provide an income for themselves.
A further 22 per cent of this group said they will be relying on the state pension and other benefits to make their primary income in retirement.
Prudential predicts that this level of reliance on partners' pensions will leave women in a financially exposed position, and, on a wider scale, will only serve to prolong the pension gender gap in the future.
The pension provider is urging women to take control of their own finances and ensure they have a degree of financial independence in retirement.
Commenting, Vince Smith-Hughes, head of pensions development at Prudential, said: "Relying on someone else's pension and savings and the meagre amount provided by the State to support you in retirement is an extraordinarily risky strategy.
"It is understandable that many women do not have retirement savings of their own but while they're still working and have got many years to go before they retire then now is the time to take control of the situation and their own destiny, and start making retirement savings plans."
Research carried out by Prudential earlier this year found that 35 per cent f women who are planning to retire in 2010 will receive an annual income below the poverty line of £13,900 a year before tax.
Gemma Goodman, head of operations at The Annuity Bureau added: "The time has long gone when women could expect to enjoy financial stability in retirement by relying on their husband's pension. I would strongly advise women – and men – to sit down with your partner and start talking about retirement plans and discuss how you can pool your retirement savings so your collective finances will support both of you in retirement."
© Fair Investment Company Ltd
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