Women more likely to leave retirement planning to partner

Almost a fifth (17 per cent) of women leave their retirement planning in the hands of their partner, compared to 8 per cent of men, according to Hargreaves Lansdown.

Survey data released by the firm showed more than one in 10 (12 per cent) people say they leave their long-term finances to their partner to sort out, although more than a quarter (27 per cent) of people who had left the planning to their significant other had lost track of their retirement saving.

Hargreaves Lansdown personal finance analyst, Sarah Coles, said: “There are some jobs we find ourselves handing over to our partner, because they’re more interested or because we can’t face it. But while it doesn’t matter who takes the bins out or is responsible for hoovering, if we’re passing over long term financial planning to our partner, this comes with serious risks.”

She pointed out that leaving pension planning to a partner could leave savers facing “a nasty surprise at retirement” if their partner was not as competent as they thought, while different priorities could also mean that an investment expert is not managing the money “according to your wishes”.

Coles noted that a lack of awareness of pension savings could also be problematic in the case of a divorce, as one side of the couple would be left with “no idea of the balance of pensions wealth in the relationship”, leading her to recommend taking stock of retirement savings every year.

She continued: “Millions of people leave the issue of dealing with long-term investment and pensions up to their partner, and women are twice as likely to do this as men. It may feel like the sensible option if one of you is more interested or the other is overwhelmed. However, there’s a real risk that leaving your future in someone else’s hands means you lose touch with your plans.

“You’re not in control of how much you’re saving or how it’s invested, so you’re simply trusting your partner is making sensible plans and will hit a goal you’re happy with.”

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