In a divorce situation the main purpose for pension sharing is to allow the pension rights of both spouses to be treated in the same way as the other matrimonial assets so that the spouse with no or less pension provision can have arrangements made for their retirement. Often, the true value of pension funds is the most valuable matrimonial asset.
A Court has power to resolve matrimonial property and financial matters including the value of retirement benefits of any pension arrangements held by either spouse. Pension sharing itself is only possible where there is to be a decree of either divorce or nullity of marriage. Currently, the most common Order made by Courts dealing with pensions is for there to be a pension share in favour of one spouse concerning the pension assets of the other spouse. This is called a Pension Sharing Order.
There are a number of different types of pensions eg a personal private pension plan or a public sector non-contributory/contributory final salary scheme. Their component parts are nothing like the same and for pensions to be divided fairly between spouses requires expert legal and financial advice. AB Family Law works closely with Independent Financial Advisers and even Actuaries (where appropriate) to provide highly skilled legal expertise in advising concerning pension sharing.
For example, you can be helped in deciding, amongst others, such matters as:-
- How much is a pension worth in reality?
- Is a pension share appropriate for you?
- What share of a pension should you receive for the pension division to be considered fair?
- Can a share of a pension be transferred out to a new scheme or must it be kept with the other spouse’s pension fund?