Yes, a pension in payment can be shared or have a pension attachment order made against it.
Some pensions will provide a lump sum payment upon retirement. An order cannot be made retrospectively against such lump sum, so unless it is still available by way of capital, you will have lost your opportunity to share in that, however the income stream from the pension can be subject to pension sharing or attachment.
If a pension is in payment and you receive a pension attachment order, you will receive the pension income immediately. The disadvantage of an attachment order however is that if your former spouse passes away or you re-marry, you will lose your pension income.
If a pension is in payment and you receive a pension sharing order, you will have your own pension fund. Depending on the scheme rules, you may be required to keep your pension with the existing scheme or transfer it externally. You will only be able to receive your pension in accordance with the rules of the scheme and therefore if your spouse is older than you, you could find that they are receiving their pension and you have to wait for yours to be paid out.
When dealing with a pension in payment, it is still possible to obtain a valuation of the fund. This is known as a CEB value (cash equivalent benefit).
The value of a pension in payment diminishes with each monthly payment made from the fund and therefore if your spouse has a pension in payment that you wish to make a claim against, you would be advised to do so sooner rather than later. Further if you are no longer married to your spouse but still wish to make a claim against their pension (whether in payment or not), it is important that you make that claim urgently, as, if they were to pass away before a pension order was made in your favour the value of any benefits could be lost.
Divorce and Pensions – you need specialist legal advice
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