Age UK report: For Love and Money

‘If there is a negative shock such as divorce, it is often the female partner who bears the higher financial risk.’

This is according to the August 2018 report (pdf) from Age UK on women’s pensions, expenditure and decision-making in retirement

There have been a considerable number of research and policy reports looking into women’s experience of saving into a pension, and particularly the gendered savings gap that affects women.

This report moves beyond saving and into retirement and examines spending and decision-making processes among women living in couple households, and among those who had been expecting to do so in their later life before divorce or bereavement waylaid their plans.

The report also finds that:

  • In a survey of couples aged 55-70, most pooled at least some of their income.
  • Household decision-making among these couples is largely collaborative, although research suggests that being ‘breadwinner’ can often mean one partner having a greater say – typically benefitting the male partner.
  • Individual private pension saving is very important for women’s economic independence, though in practice many do not earn enough for complete financial independence.
  • There is strong evidence of gender-stereotypes when looking at decision-making by purchase category. For instance, women are much more likely then men to say they make decisions about grocery shopping.
  • While the mostly collaborative approach to finance can help put women in a better financial position in later life, this is a precarious arrangement. If there is a negative shock such as a divorce, it can mean that the female partner will bear the higher financial risk.

Read the full report (pdf).