Couples yawn over retirement plans

They might live with each other under the same roof, and can even set up a business together, but UK couples too often treat their partner's nest egg as a taboo subject.

According to a study of more than 1,000 adults, nearly a third of people cohabiting in a long-term relationship have no idea about their partner's retirement plans or savings.

More than a fifth have never had a conversation with their 'other half' about financial planning for retirement, with women being the likeliest of the sexes to keep quiet.

Talking about pensions, or merely financial plans for when they get old, is simply not of interest, said 10% of the couples, who were all aged 40 or over but still in work.

These findings, based on interviews conducted in July, go some way to explain why 12million Britons have no money set aside for when they exceed the working age.

"It's astonishing that one in 10 men and women say they're not interested in their partner's retirement savings arrangements," said Andy Brown of Prudential, which commissioned the research.

Tony Harris, of independent financial advisors ContractorMoney, said: "If these findings show us anything, it's that retirement is still a somewhat taboo subject amongst middle aged Britain and this often has a knock on effect when it comes to pensions."

Adults in the North of England emerged as knowing the least about their partner's retirement plans though, overall in the research, levels of awareness tended to increase with earnings.

"Millions of UK adults are banking on hope as their core retirement strategy and are approaching what is arguably the most important financial decision without a full understanding of their household financial situation," Mr Brown said.

"The reason this is so important is because the longer retirement planning goes unresolved the harder it is for couples later in life to try and get a decent financial retirement plan in place."

ContractorMoney agreed: "It is important to discuss your financial future with your partner to ensure that you are both making the necessary provisions for retirement as it is

likely that you will be retiring together.

"This is particularly important if you or your partner have had time out of work for raising children or you have missed national insurance contributions in the past as this could affect your entitlement to the state pension."

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