Divorce

If you are getting divorced or you are separating from a partner, your pension can be impacted in a number of ways if it is included as part of a settlement.

What happens to your pension in a divorce?

  • Your ex-spouse or civil partner will no longer be entitled to a survivor's pension should you die before them.
  • Any children's pension payable in the event of your death will not be affected by your divorce/dissolution.
  • If you have previously nominated your ex-spouse or civil partner to receive the lump sum death grant payable upon your death, you should update and change your nominations.

Sharing Your Pension

The court may decide to include your pension as part of your divorce/dissolution settlement. There are two options for pension benefits to be shared as part of a settlement:

  • Pension Sharing Order

    In this instance, part of your benefits are transferred to your ex-spouse or civil partner. Your ex-spouse or partner will hold these in their own rights. As such they can transfer these pension benefits to another scheme.

    This reduction to your benefits is known as a Pension Debit.

  • Earmarking Order

    Your pension still belongs to you but some of it is earmarked, or set aside, for your ex. Earmarking Orders can require your ex-spouse or civil partner to receive one or a combination of the following:

    • all or part of any lump sum payable to you, and
    • all or part of any lump sum payable on your death

What do I need to do?

If your pension is going to be taken into account when settling your divorce/dissolution, you or your solicitor should contact us and request a Cash Equivalent Value (CEV) of your pension. Note there will be an administration charge for this.

Once your divorce, separation or dissolution is finalised you should send a copy of your decree to us.  You will also need to provide a copy of the Pension Sharing Order or Earmarking Order to the Fund. There are strict timelines for providing this so please provide these to the Fund as soon as possible otherwise an extension is required from the court.

 

What if I remarry or enter into a new civil partnership?

If you have a Pension Sharing Order and you remarry or enter into a new civil partnership, any survivors pension payable following your death will also be reduced.

If you remarry or enter into a new civil partnership and then divorce or dissolve your civil partnership, your pension can be subject to further division. If an earmarking order has already been issued a pension sharing order cannot be issued, and vice versa.

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