The courts can make orders to share and/or transfer pensions between spouses and civil partners on divorce or dissolution. There will often be a disparity between the parties pensions. By transferring pension assets any capital invested in the pension and income from it can be divided fairly. Pensions are treated separately to maintenance agreements.
In the majority of cases we instruct independent actuaries to value the pension schemes and who can unravel the different schemes. Some pensions can be index linked, other pensions are not. The actuary will take the parties pension schemes and work out a fair and sensible division of the schemes and give several options as to how this can be achieved. Sometimes there will simply be an equal division, other times there will have to be slightly more awarded to one party.
Both parties will be expected to set out the CE or Cash Equivalent which is the value of a pension available to transfer to another pension fund or within the same fund if the court were to order this. The pension sharing order sets out the actual percentage of the CE that will be transferred to the other spouse or civil partner who will then have a choice in some schemes for this to be transferred out or within the scheme.
The actuary will consider whether one pension only should be chosen to be divided or whether there will be a division of several pensions.
In some cases parties wish to trade off pensions against a greater share of the home or other capital assets. This will be always considered in each individual case.
Please contact any one of our law family team who will be delighted to assist.
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