Many of them are afraid that making separate provisions will cause bad feeling and imply that the relationship is under strain. Others simply leave financial decisions to men.
According to Denise Knowles, a counsellor and spokeswoman for Relate: "While it is true that more men now think of women as equals in the workplace, in their hearts they still feel conflict and don't want their authority challenged at home." As a result, two out of five women leave all finances in their partner's name and four out of five women do not know what their partner's pension would be worth as a percentage of his salary.
"This means that many women, including career women, don't have a clue how much their partner earns and are making no separate provision for the future," according to Ms Knowles. "This can cause problems if they are unlucky enough to get divorced or separated."
Nearly 5 million working women do not have a company pension scheme or a personal pension. But it is important for women to make sure they will be financially secure should the relationship come to an end.
"The subject can be broached carefully if women tell their husbands and boyfriends that the extra financial provision is there to provide a better future for both of them in later life," according to Grant Barrans, Norwich Union's personal market manager. Norwich Union has produced a 12-minute audio tape on retirement planning for women, available free by calling 01603-684522.Reuse content