Interactive Investor

Tell me yours and I’ll tell you mine? Pension size and your Valentine

Research reveals almost four in 10 Brits are in the dark over how much is in their partner’s pension pot.

8th February 2021 09:53

by Rebecca O'Connor from interactive investor

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Research reveals almost four in 10 Brits are in the dark over how much is in their partner’s pension pot.

Almost four in 10 Britons (38%) in relationships do not know how much is in their partner’s pension, according to research.

The survey conducted by Opinium for interactive investor found that only 14% of people in relationships “definitely know” and 31% say they “know roughly” how much is in their partner’s pension. 

As couples approach retirement they are more likely to disclose pension pot sizes: the 55+ age group were more likely to say they knew how much was in their partner’s pension pot (55%).

Perhaps surprisingly, 18- to 34-year olds were more likely to have shared this information than those in middle age, with 43% saying they knew what was in their partner’s pension compared with 34% of 35 to 54-year olds, suggesting that the younger generation may be more attuned to the importance of the pension issue.

People in London (58%), the North West (50%) and the South East (50%) were the most likely to say they know how much their partner’s pension(s) are worth, while those in Scotland (37%), the South West (37%) and Yorkshire & Humberside (39%) were least likely to say they knew.

The survey also revealed that couples don’t tend to talk about pensions very often. Only 11% said they talk about pensions once a month; 34% said sometimes, 36% said once a year or less and one in five – 19% - said they never talk about their pensions. The younger generation generally demonstrated a higher willingness to discuss their pensions: 54% of the under 35s talk often, or at key times in the year, compared to only 38% of 35-54 and 46% of 55+

Becky O’Connor, Head of Pensions and Savings at interactive investor, said: “If there is one thing worth airing this Valentine’s Day, it is pension pot size.

“Pension wealth can rival property wealth when it comes to assets shared between couples. We talk about property values constantly – with family, friends, neighbours and our other halves, so why not at least share the important detail of our pension size with our partner?

“This has a serious side. Not being aware of how much is in each other’s pensions can affect your ability to make financial plans. At worst, not sharing this information could lead to difficulty in retirement (or even resentments), for example, if one person’s pension pot falls short. If you’ve both been financially independent during your working lives, it could also be a shock if you suddenly find you are dependent on your partner to help supplement your retirement pot. On divorce, how to split assets including the pension is always an important matter, but the value of a pension is often misunderstood as couples, often wrongly, focus on splitting property.”

Notes to editors

  • Opinium conducted research on behalf of interactive investor in an omnibus survey to 2,000 adults carried out between January 26 and 28th 2021

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