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It is therefore important to receive accurate advice from an experienced solicitor in order to avoid losing out on your financial entitlement to a pension.  Often, this may involve working closely with a pension actuary or pension adviser.

The courts have wide ranging powers to make:-

  • Pension Sharing orders
  • Pension Attachment orders
  • Offsetting provisions

The pension member might also retain a pension intact in return for providing more liquid cash to the other spouse.

Pension Sharing order

These can be made within divorce proceedings and nullity proceedings commenced on or after 1 December 2000.

A pension credit is transferred from one pension pot to the other spouse’s pension pot, to create a new pension scheme. The pension credit is based upon the member’s Cash Equivalent Transfer Value (CETV) and the transfer will be expressed as a percentage of the value of the CETV and not a fixed amount.

The advantage of a Pension Sharing order is that the recipient of the pension credit does not lose those rights in the event of their former spouse’s death or remarriage.

It is possible to make a Pension Sharing order against the following arrangements:-

  • Final salary schemes, including additional voluntary contributions (AVCs);
  • Occupational money purchase schemes;
  • Personal pension arrangements;
  • Stakeholder pension arrangements;
  • Retirement annuities;
  • Small self-administered schemes;
  • Funded unapproved retirement benefit schemes;
  • Freestanding AVCs;
  • Income withdrawal;
  • Annuities;
  • SERPS;
  • Second state pensions; and
  • Pensions in payment.

It is not possible to make a Pension sharing order against the following arrangements:

  • Basic state pension;
  • State graduated pension;
  • Rights that a person has by virtue of being a widow or widower
  • Rights resulting from disablement or death by accident of a person during his or her service
  • Discretionary benefits associated with being a pension scheme member 

The spouse who receives the pension credit must choose whether he or she requires an internal or external transfer. An internal transfer provides the former spouse with their own pension rights in their own name within the same pension scheme as their former spouse but which are completely separate from the former spouse’s pension rights. An external transfer is when the pension credit is transferred out to an independent pension scheme.

Pension Attachment order

Attachment Orders are available in respect of:

  • Pension benefits
  • Tax free lump sum benefits at retirement
  • Death in service benefits

They cannot be made against the following arrangements:

  • Basic state pension
  • The State graduated pension
  • Additional pension derived from SERPS or a second state pension

They are not widely used as Pension Attachment orders cease upon the death of the member of the pension pot or the remarriage of the former spouse in receipt of the pension attachment. The recipient is not able to receive retirement income until the spouse with the pension pot retires.

Offsetting

All the assets of the marriage are taken into account, and the value of the pension assets are offset against the value of other assets, for example, the value of the former matrimonial home.

The spouse with the pension retains his pension intact and the other spouse receives a greater share of other assets of the marriage.

In general, the court will divide the pension between the parties in the same division as all other assets.

Pensions schemes operate in different ways, and you should consider taking advice from an independent financial adviser before sharing a pension to ensure that you receive good value for money.

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Our Approach & Our Experience

We act with integrity. We do not fee build at the client’s expense. We provide experienced and commercial advice to ensure the client achieves the right outcome

We understand the stress caused when relationships break down. We work hard building close relationships with the best counsellors, independent social workers and psychologists, pension advisers and forensic accountants to assist the client to get the right information and help them rebuild their family’s future.

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Our Promise & Core Values

Our Promise

The Myerson Promise - Our Partners, team of lawyers and support staff commit to giving our clients more.

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To always give you clear, jargon-free advice.
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To be completely transparent about our fees from the outset.
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Progress every matter in an efficient and timely matter.

Our Core Values

Our core values are at the centre of everything we do.

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We are always professional but ensure that we are friendly and approachable.
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We are determined and enthusiastic about supporting our clients and our people.
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We willingly take responsibility and can be relied on to be commercial, effective and efficient.

Meet Our Specialists

Home-grown or recruited from national, regional or City firms. Our specialists are experts in their fields and respected by their peers.

Jane Tenquist

Jane Tenquist

Jane is a Partner and Head of the Family Law Team

Nichola Bright

Nichola Bright

Nichola is a senior solicitor in our Family Law department

Emily Barcilon

Emily Barcilon

Emily is a Solicitor in our Family department

Gemma Symons

Gemma Symons

Gemma is a Trainee Solicitor within our Family & Wills, Trusts and Probate department

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