One Quarter of Couples Haven’t Discussed their Pension Plans

Almost one quarter (24 per cent) of UK couples have never discussed their retirement income plans with their partner, new research has revealed.

According to a survey by Prudential, UK couples over the age of 40 are falling behind when it comes to joint pension planning, with two thirds (67 per cent) admitting that they have no idea what their combined retirement income will be.

Furthermore, one in five couples have not disclosed their income to their partner, and one in six does not know what their partner earns.

Just seven per cent of couples have not talked to their partner about their retirement income in more than ten years.

“Conversations about finances are never easy, especially if you have not even told your partner how much you earn,” said Stan Russell, retirement expert at Prudential.

“It is extremely important to discuss your finances, however, as it is essential to know where you both stand so you can plan for a comfortable retirement.

“Couples who don’t talk, and make joint plans, risk losing out on making the most of the pension saving tax relief available between them, not using their full allowances in retirement may also end up with unrealistic expectations of what their savings combined are worth.”

The survey discovered that the average couple expects to earn a combined annual income (inclusive of the state pension) of £31,301. However, 46 per cent of couples still said that they were concerned about running out of money in retirement.

And worryingly, nine per cent of women said that they expect to rely entirely on their parents or spouse’s retirement income, compared to just two per cent of men. One in ten couples said that they have no retirement savings as a couple and will have to rely solely on the state for income.

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Yet despite widespread concern about their retirement income, almost three quarters (73 per cent) of couples have not yet taken advantage of pension rules such as tax-free savings.

“For couples who have never had conversations regarding their personal finances, it is best to seek advice from a professional financial adviser who should be able to inform them of the best way they can maximise their savings and use new pension rules if appropriate,” added Russell.

Among the biggest concerns about post-retirement life, the surveyed couples said that they were worried about not being able to financially help their children or grandchildren (20 per cent), paying too much in tax in retirement (15 per cent), and falling victim to fraudsters (12 per cent)

However, an encouraging 28 per cent said that they had no concerns at all about their post-retirement income.

Last updated: June 28th, 2018

Kathryn Gaw

Kathryn Gaw is a financial journalist based in Belfast, Northern Ireland. She has been writing about personal finance and investment trends for more than a decade, and her work has been featured in the Financial Times, City A.M., the Press Association, and The Irish Independent, among many other publications.

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