My pension is all mine – or is it?

Year Published: 2012

In a recent survey of divorced women it was found that only 15% had pensions discussed as part of their overall financial settlement.

Pensions are an important asset and one which must not be overlooked in divorce cases. More often than not, the husband has the larger pension pot and this was the case in a recent survey carried out by Scottish Widows which has indicated that 8% of women over the age of 50 are wholly dependent on their partner’s savings to fund them in retirement.

With one in three marriages ending in divorce, women and indeed men who are not the main breadwinner, are being urged to make extra provision for retirement as otherwise they have no financial certainty for their old age.

Pensions are assets which are taken into account by the Court. The fact that one spouse has paid into a pension and other has not is irrelevant, the starting point is that the pension forms part of the matrimonial pot.

A Pension Sharing Order can be made which would result in a transfer of monies from one spouse’s pension scheme to the others or alternatively, it may be agreed that the spouse without the pension receives a bigger chunk of the capital of the marriage.

During divorce proceedings it is vital that pensions are looked at closely. It may be that a pension expert has to be instructed to calculate the amount payable to the other spouse, whether it be under Pension Sharing Order or as a capital payment in lieu of a claim over the pension.

If you are going through a separation and need advice regarding financial settlement then please contact our Family Law team on 0161 475 7676.

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