Research from Succession Wealth has found that, for high net worth couples, pensions are often the biggest asset in a divorce. Despite this, only 18% of divorces feature pension sharing orders.
This discrepancy is likely to be caused by couples who divorce without taking legal or financial advice on their options and, as a result, fail to take the value of the pensions into account when dividing up their other assets.
The advice consolidator analysed the Office for National Statistics Wealth and Assets Survey data and the number of divorces in England and Wales, concluding that 550 couples with net financial wealth of £1m or more each will divorce this year. Succession Wealth’s research estimates that collectively these individuals have around £1.91bn of net wealth, or £3.48m per couple. In terms of how this wealth is broken down between different assets, the analysis suggests that 43 per cent is held in private pensions, followed by 31 per cent in property wealth.