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Women still ignoring pensions, says Investec research

Women are continuing to turn their backs on pensions, according to new research from Investec Private Bank.

It reveals that 60 per cent of women do not have a personal pension fund, with 19 per cent of these saying that a pension is not a priority; up from 17 per cent the year before.

Around 1.6 million women without a pension plan to rely on their husband’s savings or pension to provide them with an income in retirement and over 600,000 women are depending on an inheritance.

According to Investec, there are now almost half a million more women who claim to be relying on their husband’s pensions pot than there were just 14 months previously. It says that, excluding women aged 65 and over, the age group most dependent upon their husbands for retirement are women aged 35 to 44 years. This is despite almost half of this age group 48 per cent having a pension fund.

A growing number of women are expecting to receive an inheritance which will help to fund their retirement, says Investec. Since September 2005, over 170,000 more women claim to be anticipating that an inheritance will help fund their retirement, bringing the total in late 2006 up to approximately 643,000.

Investec Private Bank head of banking and treasury Linda McBain says: “This research shows that many women are turning their backs on pensions, despite steps taken by both the Government and the pensions industry to simplify them and make them more attractive to long-term savers. Two thirds of women don’t have a personal pension fund and almost one in five say that it’s simply not a priority for them. Many women will rely on their husbands, the State or an inheritance to provide income in retirement. However, with up to one in three couples now divorcing, this approach could leave thousands facing financial hardship.”

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