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Marriage Week: Silver Splicers

Older people in England and Wales are getting married in greater numbers – the so-called “silver splicers”. The number of brides and grooms over 65 has gone up by almost 50% in the last decade. More than half of men aged 65 and over, who tied the knot in 2014 married a woman under 65; in contrast, only 22% of women aged 65 and over married a man under 65.

In the future, older married couples are more likely to be living with their partner than on their own, in retirement. This may be because of the large number of post-war “baby boomers” living longer, combined with the closing of the gap between male and female life expectancy. It is therefore important to take this into account when thinking about pension planning.

Here are some top tips when thinking about your retirement plans:

  • Your state pension is the foundation of your retirement income. The introduction of the new state pension in 2016 moved away from “Mr & Mrs” pensions to single individual pension entitlement. Make sure that you both have sufficient years of National Insurance credits, if you’re not sure you can find out more here.
  • In retirement, you will both have personal tax allowances, which is the income on which no tax is paid. Make sure that you both have income in your own name to use up the entire allowances.
  • If you employ your partner, your partner will need to be automatically enrolled into your workplace pension scheme. Employer contributions into your partner’s pension do not include tax or National Insurance.
  • If you die before drawing your pension, the pension scheme may pay a lump sum death benefit. Make sure that you have updated the nomination of wishes forms for ALL your  pensions – if you’ve been married before, you may still have a former partner listed!
  • A spouse’s pension may be payable on your death, but there are different rules that apply so make sure that you know the rules and have completed the necessary paperwork.

And finally, when it comes to your retirement, spend time together discussing your different sources of income so that you both understand how much you will be getting and for how long. After all, you will be spending a lot more time together!

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