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NU survey highlights funding shortfall by divorced women

Middle-aged female divorcees are facing a retirement funding crisis, claims a rep- ort from Norwich Union Equity Release.

According to the Asset Rich, Cash Poor report, just 4 per cent of divorced women over 50 have received any of their former husband’s pension pot on divorce or separation despite recent legis- lation which gives women a better deal on pension splitting.

This problem is brought sharply into focus by the fact that, apart from the state pension, many woman are relying solely on a share of their husband’s pension to provide for their retirement, with 45 per cent of women over 50 surveyed saying they expect to use their husband’s pension as their main source of income.

Over three-quarters of the 440 women over 50 surveyed by Norwich Union said they realise the difficulty in surviving on the current state pension but that they are not in a position to save money for an adequate pension pot.

Yet Norwich Union says many women over 50 are asset rich, with almost half owning their home outright. Women are also most likely to be awarded the house in a divorce settlement. Twenty-nine per cent of 50 to 54-year-old women said they are relying on their property as a means of generating income in retirement.

Head of marketing Nigel Spencer says: “Women are increasingly becoming the poorer sex when it comes to retirement. Many women have sacrificed careers and, therefore, their own pension to raise their family and, as a result, are being unfairly punished.”

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