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Mogers Drewett: What will happen to my pension if I divorce?

Pensions are often the most valuable asset to be considered on divorce. Specialising in financial resolution for divorcing couples Rebecca Silcock, explores the pension options available to separating couples.

If you have been married for a short period of time or are at the beginning of your career and have not accrued much of a pension, the court might decide to make no order in respect of your pensions. Where a pension order is needed there are three specific orders that the court may make.

Pension sharing orders

The most common type of order is a pension sharing order. This order allows a proportion of one spouse’s pension to be taken from their pension pot and invested into a separate pension pot in the name of the other spouse.

Offsetting pension values

It may be that the most appropriate arrangement is for one spouse to keep their entire pension and for the other to receive a lump sum or equity in the marital home in return. The option of offsetting should be approached with caution and proper advice taken to ensure you correctly calculate an offsetting figure.

Pension attachment orders

Pension attachment orders provide that once a pension goes into payment, a set amount will be paid directly to the other spouse.

The drawback of this order is that the pension capital remains invested in your spouse’s pension, so you have no control over its investment or draw down and they end on re-marriage or death, so there is a risk you may never benefit from this order if your spouse remarries or passes away.

How can we help?

Before deciding on a pension order, it is common for the court to seek the advice of a pensions on divorce expert who can provide advice and carry out the calculations necessary to ensure equality of income in retirement if that is your goal.

Our team of family law specialists work alongside Chartered Financial Planner Daniel Gornall, who specialises in providing Independent Financial Advice to those going through divorce or separation. Daniel regularly provides detailed reports to assist the court on how issues relating to pensions should be resolved in a sensible and fair manner.

For more information on divorce and the affect it could have on your pension please get in touch with Rebecca Silcock today at Rebecca.silcock@mogersdrewett.com or call 01225 750000.