Pensions on Divorce

What happens to my pension on divorce? Pensions can be the most significant asset of a marriage and it is vital that they are considered as part of any divorce settlement.

Pensions can sometimes be the biggest asset of the marriage. Sometimes they are ignored without understanding the consequences of doing so.

The Family Court, on divorce, has a number of powers to deal with pensions. It is essential to have specialist advice about those to ensure a fair, cost-effective and tax-efficient outcome.

Pensions On Divorce – Options

Pensions can be highly complex. Expert guidance is essential to understand those options. Our specialist family lawyers can advise about:

  • Pension sharing – where a pension fund is “split” between the couple giving the recipient a pension of their own
  • Pension attachment – where one of the couple’s pension benefits are shared with the other at the time of retirement
  • Offsetting – where the value of a scheme or its benefits are traded off against other family assets

Which option is best for you depends very much on your particular circumstances and our experienced family lawyers will tailor their advice to your specific circumstances.

Understanding Pension Types And Their Value

Because there are very many types of pensions and because how their value is calculated can differ from scheme to scheme, it is important to obtain specialist legal and financial advice when comparing different types of pensions without any family and on divorce.

All pensions have a value (known as the cash equivalent value). Understanding this is vital as part of the divorce. Some schemes are more straightforward than others for example where they are simply investments holding money or shares; others such as those that are linked to final salaries can be more complicated. Also, although all schemes have a capital value, sometimes, particularly those schemes that come from the public sector, can have valuable benefits that are not obvious from their cash equivalent transfer values that will need to be considered or protected.

State pensions are also relevant and are sometimes overlooked. Sometimes a spouse may not have made sufficient National Insurance contributions to receive a full statement pension. This may be because they were not able to work whilst bringing up a family, for example. Such matters would need to be considered too in any financial settlement.

How Can Timms Help?

Because of the number of different types of scheme, the difficulties associated with valuing schemes and the benefits they produce and the number of options that are available, expert advice and guidance is always going to be required. Our specialist family lawyers have a wealth of experience in dealing with these types of matter and have long-established links with the pensions experts and actuaries who deal with these matters regularly before the family Courts. We can, therefore, offer specific solutions and calculations depending on your individual circumstances to enable you to make fully informed decisions about your future security.

If you would like to discuss any queries relating to pensions and divorce or separation, please do not hesitate to get in contact. You can call us on freephone 0800 011 6666 or reach us by email at