The typical expected income for someone who split up with their life partner stands at £16,300 a year, whereas those who stayed together are set for £3,000 more at £19,400, found a report by Prudential.
Furthermore, around a fifth of divorcees face spending their retirement in poverty with incomes of less than £9,712 a year.
Around one in three people who have been divorced also expected to retire with debts, compared with just one in five who have not been divorced.
After the family home, a pension pot can be one of the biggest assets in a divorce case – and if savings have been built during the marriage, they are commonly split equally.
Richard Collins, divorce lawyer and Partner at Charles Russell Speechlys, said: “Given recent pension changes and the increased flexibility of some pensions, there is a rising trend for divorcing wives to seek a pension rather than taking other assets in place of pensions, which used to be the typical position.
“Additionally, new pension rules allow some pensions to be passed down one or two generations in a tax-efficient manner.
“These advantages appear to be attractive to increasing numbers of divorcing wives who are keen to trade other types of assets in a financial settlement to secure pension provision.”
Clare Moffat, pensions specialist at Prudential, added: “The financial impact of divorce can be devastating both in the short and longer-term, lasting well into retirement as divorcees experience expected retirement incomes of as much as 16 per cent lower than those who’ve never divorced.
“Deciding on living costs and childcare at the point of divorce is difficult enough, but a pension fund is likely to be one of the most complicated assets a couple will have to split in the event of a divorce.
“Retirees who divorced a while ago may want to consider seeking updated professional financial advice on any post-retirement plans they have made, particularly in the light of recent changes to pension legislation.
“There are also important differences in divorce law between Scotland, and England and Wales.
“Legal advice in the early stages of separation is therefore crucial.”