Divorcee’s and the pension pot

Published by Sophie Fillmore on 2019 06 19

Divorcee’s and the pension pot

Research from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) shows pension pots are being overlooked in many divorce settlements – particularly by women.  With divorce rates now on the rise among the over-60s according to ONS, it is even more important to think about retirement funding and include any pension assets when splitting.

People going through a divorce often prioritise the house as the main asset without realising pension benefits earned during the marriage, retirement savings funded during the marriage and the earnings on both accounts that have accumulated during the marriage shouldn’t be forgotten.

What are the options for dealing with pensions on divorce?

  1. Offsetting the pension against other matrimonial assets
  2. A pension attachment order (formerly known as earmarking)
  3. A pension sharing order

 Top Tip: Get expert advice as early as possible to avoid problems or confusion down the line.

It’s not unusual for a spouse to be shy of disclosing all their assets in advance of divorce.  There is a duty on both parties in a divorce to fully disclose their assets – including any pensions. The lawyers will need to have view of all the assets to ensure things are divided fairly. It is important to get accurate and independent valuations of any pension pots.

Splitting your pension after you’ve retired

If you and/or your ex-partner have retired and your pensions are in payment, the pensions can still be split. It isn’t possible to take a lump sum from your ex-partner’s pension if they have already taken their lump sum.

If you’re embarking on the divorce process or are ending a civil partnership and would like to talk through your pension options, please do not hesitate to get in contact with us.

We also have a compliment guide “The legal and financial issues which arise on the breakdown of a relationship. If you would like a free copy, please contact our Marketing Manager: leah@kdw.co.uk