Spouses’ decision to divorce or dissolve their civil partnership, raises many complex questions about the division of assets. A largely overlooked asset is an individual’s pension which may have accrued over many years and can provide a vital lifeline in retirement.

 

Research conducted by Aviva suggests that 15% of divorcees did not realise their pension could be impacted by getting divorced, 34% made no claim on their former spouse’s pension so that it was not included as a settlement asset and 8% of divorcees stated they did not have pension savings as they were relying on their spouse to finance their retirement. Subsequently, 19% say they will be, or are, significantly worse off in retirement (Aviva, 3 May 2022).

 

Many individuals (32%) were dipping into their savings to supplement their income following a divorce, 20% had turned to credit cards to keep them afloat, 18% were borrowing from friends or family, and 15% were selling items of clothing, toys and household items to get by. Others had no choice but to return to work (12%) or get a second job to supplement their income (10%) (Aviva, 3 May 2022).

Pensions do not have to be complex. Something as simple as a pension scheme cash equivalent value (CEV) can be used as a starting point and most pension providers provide one free of charge on a yearly basis. The value of the pension can then be offset against the value of other assets (pension offsetting), shared between the parties (pension sharing) or an Attachment Order can be made to ensure a portion of the pension is paid to one spouse when it becomes eligible to pay out.

Pensions may appear a complicated asset that raises complex questions, but Stalwart Solicitors is happy to confidentially talk to you regarding the facts and nature of your case and give you specific advice to guide you through the process. No one case is the same, thus each requires a unique approach.

Please contact us for a 30-minute free video chat, web chat or telephone call to start the conversation and to see how we can help. We are available 24/7 through the following platforms:

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