Worried about pensions on divorce? Make sure you know how to get your fair share, and how to protect a pension which shouldn’t be included.
Valuing Pensions on Divorce
Ask your pension provider for the Cash Equivalent Transfer Value of your pension. This will give you an idea of the value of the pension but it can be inaccurate.
If you’re making a claim over a valuable pension you should consider obtaining a valuation from an actuary.
Pension Actuarial Reports
This will help you get a fair share of a valuable pension. An actuary will work out the realistic value. He or she will advise how best to divide the pension to provide equality of income in retirement. This will for example take into consideration your different life expectancies. If you’re a woman, you will need more than half as you’re likely to live longer.
State Pension after Divorce
Find out your entitlement to a State Pension when working out your financial settlement. Here’s a link to a form you can complete to obtain a forecast. Or you can phone, or email. You can obtain an online forecast if you have an HMRC account
Family Home or a Share of Ex’s Pension?
It’s a hard decision. But in the long run you could face a difficult retirement with a limited income whilst your ex is reaping the benefit of a valuable pension pot. Make sure you get expert legal advice. Most Divorce Solicitors offer free initial advice – we certainly do.
What is Offsetting?
This is where one of you keeps their pension and the other gets more property or savings etc instead. But there’s always the risk the pension will ultimately provide more security in retirement than the alternative assets.
Can I Keep My Pension out of the Divorce?
Try arguing it’s a non matrimonial asset. Can you say some or all of it accrued before the marriage? Or can you offer a greater share of other assets to compensate? But the only fool proof method is to enter into a Prenuptial Agreement before the marriage, or a Postnuptial Agreement during the marriage.
See my blog Ring Fence & Protect Assets On Divorce.
Pension Sharing on Divorce after Retirement
One approach is to equalise your incomes with a pension sharing order or a maintenance order. This is a complex area and you should seek expert advice from a family law solicitor.
If you don’t want to risk your pension (or other assets), consider a Prenuptial Agreement. Here’s a helpful factsheet on the subject.
What is a Pension Sharing Order?
It gives away a share of a pension by transferring a percentage of it into another scheme. The Order can be made by consent so you don’t have to go to Court. It’s served on the pension provider. Bear in mind pension providers charge fees for sharing pensions. Here’s a link to the form that needs to be filled in. It’s annexed to a Consent Order. (Read here how a Consent Order will protect you).
Can I get my Ex’s State Pension?
You may be able to use your ex’s National Insurance Contributions to boost your State Pension. The Additional State Pension can also be shared on divorce. Here’s a helpful link to the Pensions Advisory Service
Pensions on Divorce
Contact Joanne Houston on 01962 217640 for free advice on Pensions on Divorce. In this 20 minute session we will review your situation and how you can achieve your objectives.
See my blog about how to get the best financial settlement on divorce.
Did you know there are different rules for Short Marriages?
JUST FAMILY LAW are specialist divorce and family law solicitors offering personalised legal solutions. We offer collaborative law which is especially relevant in providing solutions tailored to your family’s needs. This includes same sex couples and their families. Visit our website just-family-law.com The topics covered in this blog post are complex and are provided for general guidance only. Therefore if any of the circumstances mentioned in this blog have application to you, seek expert legal advice.
image Bubble Couple by Martin Mutch on Wikimedia