By Daniel Hunter

Surprising differences between the way men and women approach their finances are revealed by new research.

The study, involving in-depth interviews with couples across a range of ages, incomes and locations around the country, shows that women typically took more interest and control over financial decision-making than men.

When it comes to long-term planning, few people take an active approach to providing for their retirement. However, those people already in a workplace pension say they accepted one when offered it by their employer.

"Pensions can seem unfamiliar and perplexing or something to think about when you’re much older," Steve Webb, Minister for Pensions, said.

"That’s why we are taking the hassle out of retirement planning by introducing automatic enrolment which will see millions starting to save or saving more for their retirement.

"This study backs up our research that individuals who are enrolled into a pension by their employer tend to stay in."

The research also showed that although couples think they work together on financial planning, they only really collaborate at the end of the process.

While women may not necessarily be more financially confident or knowledgeable, they tend to have more influence and instigate the decision-making process. Men felt they had an important role to play at the final stage.

Where couples had actively made financial decisions this was often in response to major changes in their lives, such as marriage or becoming parents, or changes to household income.

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