Any pensions or pension rights that you or your ex-spouse or former spouse/civil partner have will need to be considered in a financial settlement. This can be state pensions, workplace pensions, personal pensions, or a combination of them all.
On divorce or dissolution the Basic State Pension cannot be split or shared but you may be able to ‘top-up’ your own national insurance record using your ex-partner’s national insurance record. This may mean that you get a higher basic state pension without affecting your ex-partner’s basic state pension entitlement.
In order to decide how best to deal with pensions, you will need to know what they are worth. A valuation for each pension fund, including Additional State Pension, will need to be obtained. This is known as the ‘transfer value’ of the pension fund. Depending upon the type of pension that you have you may receive an annual statement containing the transfer value. For some types of pension fund, working out the value of the fund is more complicated and an expert report may be needed from an actuary.
Once the values of the pensions are known then advice can be given about how much each party should receive and how best to deal with the pensions. There are three main options:
You can only have pension sharing or pension attachment with a Court order. It forms part of the financial agreement reached upon divorce or dissolution and has to be registered with the trustees of the pension fund for you to receive the pension.
Pensions can seem a daunting area as they do need to be looked at carefully and valued correctly to ensure a fair outcome. There are lots of rules and regulations that apply to pensions and this is something that we can guide you through when dealing with your divorce or dissolution.
Wards Solicitors remains open for business during the national lockdown and we are taking on new cases. We are available for video call and telephone meetings but cannot currently offer face to face meetings with clients except in some specific emergency situations and at court hearings.
How to get in touch:
A list of our 12 branches is available here. Our telephones lines are operating as normal behind closed doors.
Important Warning: Cyber-crime is very common including email interception. We will never tell you of changes to our bank details by email. Please be aware that we accept no responsibility if you transfer money to a bank account which is not ours. If you receive an email giving our bank account details, please telephone us immediately without replying to the email or sending money.