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Pensions

Pensions can be very valuable assets, and need to be carefully considered in any financial settlement. The first thing to do is to get a valuation for the savings or rights you and your spouse or civil partner each have in any pension schemes from the scheme administrator.

These may be schemes you have through work, personal pension schemes and any additional state pension (part of the state pension scheme) – see pensions for more information.

The court will decide how to deal with any pensions in the context of the overall financial settlement. There are three ways they can do this:

If a large amount of your pension fund was built up before the marriage, and everyone's needs can be met without it, a court will sometimes take that into account in any final order.

Changes to someone's pension cannot take place simply by agreement between you and your spouse or civil partner. Only a court can order changes to someone's pension, but it will be limited by what the rules of each scheme say. You and your solicitor, and possibly with the help of an independent financial adviser (IFA), will need to check the rules of your pension scheme before finalising any settlement with your spouse or civil partner.

Pensions are a complex area, and you may wish to take advice from a pension's specialist IFA, in conjunction with your solicitor, to understand what options are available to you and what the implications would be Useful links.

Read more about planning for retirement

Pensions

Pensions can be very valuable assets, and need to be carefully considered in any financial settlement. The first thing to do is to get a valuation for the savings or rights you and your spouse or civil partner each have in any pension schemes from the scheme administrator.

You will require to obtain the valuation for the savings or rights in a pension scheme as at the separation date.

These may be schemes you have through work, personal pension schemes and any additional state pension (part of the state pension scheme) – see pensions for more information.

The court will decide how to deal with any pensions in the context of the overall financial settlement. There are three ways they can do this:

The value of pensions will be taken into account in calculating the total value of the assets to be divided between you and your spouse or civil partner. If there are sufficient other assets to go around to ensure that each party has a fair (usually an equal) share of the total matrimonial property, then you and your spouse or civil partner (or indeed the Court) may decide that you will each leave your pensions intact.

However, if as part of a settlement you are going to share in your spouse or civil partner's pension this can be done in one of two ways:-

  • Pension earmarking
  • Pension sharing

The valuation of your pension at the separation date will be apportioned in accordance with the length of your marriage. This means that the proportion of your pension accrued prior to the date of your marriage and any pension accrued after the date of your separation will not be taken into account.

A Court can order changes to someone's pension, and it is possible for parties to agree changes to someone's pensions by entering into a Minute of Agreement dealing with pension sharing. However, what can and cannot be done by a Court or by Agreement will be limited by what the rules of each scheme say. You and your solicitor, and possibly with the help of an independent financial adviser, will need to check the rules of your pension scheme before finalising any settlement with your spouse or civil partner.

Pensions are a complex area, and you may wish to take advice from a pension's specialist IFA, in conjunction with your solicitor, to understand what options are available to you and what the implications would be Useful links.

Read more about planning for retirement

Pensions

Pensions can be very valuable assets, and need to be carefully considered in any financial settlement. The first thing to do is to get a valuation for the savings or rights you and your spouse or civil partner each have in any pension schemes from the scheme administrator. These may be schemes you have through work, personal pension schemes and any additional state pension (part of the state pension scheme) – see pensions for more information.

The court will decide how to deal with any pensions in the context of the overall financial settlement. There are three ways they can do this:

If a large amount of your pension fund was built up before the marriage, and everyone's needs can be met without it, a court will sometimes take that into account in any final order.

Changes to someone's pension cannot take place simply by agreement between you and your spouse or civil partner. Only a court can order changes to someone's pension, but it will be limited by what the rules of each scheme say. You and your solicitor, and possibly with the help of a independent financial adviser (IFA), will need to check the rules of your pension scheme before finalising any settlement with your spouse or civil partner.

Pensions are a complex area, and you may wish to take advice from a pension's specialist IFA, in conjunction with your solicitor, to understand what options are available to you and what the implications would be Useful links.

Read more about planning for retirement

Types of pensions
Types of pensions

Most people are entitled to a basic state pension, but you may also have an additional state pension.

Find out more about types of pensions
How to deal with a pension
How to deal with a pension

The court can deal with pensions in one of three ways: pension sharing; pension off-setting; and pension attachment.

Find out more about how to deal with a pension

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Relevant sites

For more information, see the pensions and retirement section of our website.

Visit Pensions and retirement


Association of Independent Financial Advisors

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Visit the AIFA website

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