Pensions and Divorce

The average age of those getting divorced is 45-49 for men and 40-44 for women.  And the number of people aged 55 years or older ending their marriages as doubled in recent years.  With life expectancy increasing, the division of pensions in a divorce financial settlement is as important as the family home and business assets.  This is especially true if you have spent your prime earning years concentrating on bringing up your family and therefore have little or no private pension funds accumulated.

RVS Solicitors is committed to providing a different type of experience for those who need legal advice.  We are a paperless office with a focus on using technology to reduce our overheads and passing these savings onto our clients.  In addition, we are driven to provide deeply personal client care, focusing on what a successful outcome means to you and then helping you achieve it.

As members of Resolution, a group of 6,500 family solicitors nationwide, our family law solicitors, led by Rakhi Singal, believe that alternative dispute resolution methods, such as mediation and round-table negotiation provide the best, long-lasting outcome for families.  By leveraging peaceful and non-confrontational negotiation methods when working out how a pension should be divided, couples can reduce the overall stress and emotional upheaval experienced during separation and make decisions that are rational and are in the best interests of everyone.

While we support non-confrontational approaches to bringing about agreements following a civil partnership dissolution, we also understand that sometimes court litigation cannot be avoided.  If this does happen, we will provide you with robust legal representation.  The service we offer to our clients is always tailored to their needs.  Based on your circumstances, we will adapt how we work to you.  And if you need us, we will be there to give reassurance, answer questions, and provide any legal advice you need.  Our easy availability is central to the service we provide, and while we may not always be immediately available to speak, we will return your call or correspondence as soon as practicably possible.

Dividing up a pension in a divorce can be highly complex because the full value of the pension may not be realised for many years.  We will ensure all your circumstances are considered carefully before advising on the best course of action.

To find out how we can advise and represent you, please contact our London office on +44 (2) 078411081 to make an appointment.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQS)

Most pensions can be shared, including:

  • Private workplace pensions
  • Additional state pension and the protected payment element of the transitional rate of the new state pension
  • Pension protection fund compensation

A person’s basic state pension and new state pension (which replaced the basic state pension and additional state pension from 6 April 2016) is not sharable.

If you or your spouse have an overseas pension, it may be that this is only sharable if evidence can be provided that the overseas jurisdiction will implement and enforce a Pension Sharing Order made by an English court.

Pensions are usually divided three ways in a financial settlement:

  • Off-setting – where the entire pension is awarded to one party and its value is offset by other assets such as the family home which is given to the other spouse.
  • Pension sharing – this is where one spouse is given a share of the other’s pension pot.
  • Earmarking – a portion of a pension received by one party is paid to their former spouse, similar to periodic maintenance payments.

A Pension Sharing Order divides the rights to the proceeds of a pension between two people, so each has their own individual rights to the pension scheme.

When working out a financial settlement in a divorce, sharable pensions are considered part of the overall matrimonial property to be divided.  To ensure there is a fair division, we will ensure an accurate valuation of all pensions is obtained.  This is a complex process and involves the preparation of a Pension Sharing Report.

To find out the best way to divide any pensions in a financial settlement, talk to one of our divorce Solicitors.

To find out how we can advise and represent you, please contact our London office on +44 (2) 078411081 to make an appointment.

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