Pensions and Divorce – Your Options

During the divorce process, when it comes to sorting out a financial settlement, all of the family’s assets need to be taken into account – including any pension belonging to either party. As part of the financial settlement, parties usually choose one of the three following options when it comes to their pension(s):

Attachment (previously known as earmarking)

A certain percentage of a partner’s pension is allocated to their former partner, and they will receive this when they retire. Benefits are not always guaranteed; and if the original owner of the pension remarries or dies, the former spouse will lose all benefits.

Offsetting

This is a simple option, which involves balancing the pension’s value against another matrimonial asset, usually the house. Though the simplest, this is not always the most favourable option.

Pension Sharing

A certain percentage of a person’s pension is moved into a pension scheme for their ex-spouse. The ex-spouse sometimes becomes known as a “Pension Credit” member of the particular pension scheme. This is usually the case with public sector pension schemes. In most cases, the ex-spouse has to choose a private pension scheme for the funds to be transferred into, and may need to receive the appropriate financial and legal advice.

Don’t forget that our divorce solicitors offer free 30 minutes advice on any aspect of divorce or family law – so get in touch with them today at our Salisbury, Amesbury, Andover or Verwood offices.