Pension Rights in a Divorce
20 Jan 2021
Do parties have entitlement to their ex’s pension in divorce? Do pensions have to be split or shared when you divorce in the UK.
Kelly Grigg, a family lawyer at Richard Nelson LLP, outlines the divorce pension rights in the UK, why it is important to review your pension in a divorce and how to protect it.
Richard Nelson LLP is a leading firm for 2021, part of the legal 500. Our family lawyers have been accredited by the Law Society for Family Law and Children Law.
Why do I need to review my pension in divorce?
Pensions are often overlooked when parties are trying to resolve financial matters between themselves. However, the pension is the biggest asset in the matrimonial pot, even greater than the value of the family home.
Nowadays, we are all living longer and so we do need to be considering our income needs on retirement.
How to protect pension in divorce
They need to be valued prior to any negotiations taking place. Pensions are complicated. They come in all shapes and sizes. You may have to obtain specialist advice from an Actuary to ascertain the real value of a Pension. Particularly if it is a public sector pension fund, as the valuation figure on paper may not be a true reflection of its worth. An Actuary will help evaluate, manage and advise on financial risk.
Once you know the value of the pension pot, you can then decide what to do with a fair and reasonable outcome to be achieved.
One option is a Pension Sharing Order. This takes a percentage of one parties’ pension and gives it to the other party immediately to either add to their own pension fund or to assist them with starting a fund of their own. Anything earned after the transfer by either party with regards to their own individual pension fund is not then claimable by the other; their pension claims are severed once the transfer has taken part.
Another option is Pension Offsetting, where you offset the value of the Pension against other assets in the pot, for example, the family home.
Rarely used nowadays is a Pension Attachment Order. This means that when the person starts taking their pension, the other party takes a share of the income too. The Court does not like this option as it does not give the parties the clean break financial separation it favours.
Work with a family law specialist
Kelly Grigg is a family solicitor with a wealth of experience helping a wide range of clients on family law matters.
With years of experience comes the understanding that every family is different. Kelly offers assistance and representation at court on family law matters including divorce and separation; pre- and post-nuptial agreements; children matters; unmarried couples; financial matters; and domestic abuse and protection orders.
At what is a stressful and emotional time, Kelly prides herself in avoiding legal speak. She will clearly explain your options and the processes involved, so you feel in control every step of the way.
Kelly understands that family life can be hectic at the best of times and is happy to make arrangements for out of hours appointments where needed.
“I really can’t thank you enough for all you have done for me with my divorce. The process has been made easier by your understanding of my situation and the care you have provided. I breathe a sigh of relief that it’s nearly over and my future is a whole lot happier and brighter.”
“Kelly is a professional, friendly and supportive Solicitor. She helped my son gain access to his daughter, advising him every step of the way. I would highly recommend Kelly.”