In its annual ‘Women and Retirement Report 2017’, Scottish Widows has revealed a number of shocking findings relevant to divorce in the UK.
Of particular concern to PMC Family Law, the report found that 71% of divorcing couples in 2017 did not discuss pensions as part of their settlements. With the average married couple likely to have around £132,000 in pension savings, the findings show that UK divorcing couples are potentially losing out on £1,000’s.
Scottish Widows also found that pensions were one of the lowest priorities for couples facing divorce, with only 9% of couples wanting a fair share of their spouse’s pension. That ranks below those couples who were concerned about losing a pet (13%), those who wanted to split combined savings (36%) and those who fought for a fair share of jointly owned property (56%).
With regards to women, the report also found that 48% of UK women do not know what happens to pensions when couples get divorced.
When it comes to the division of assets during divorce proceedings, understanding the nature of pension entitlements and options for division between divorcing couples is essential. At the outset of meeting with clients we take care to discuss any pensions our client or their spouse may have built up over the course of their marriage, providing advice on the best steps forward and process for obtaining a fair share of the pension pot. We also have strong business relationships with some of the country’s leading pension experts who we regularly instruct on behalf of our clients to provide complex reports for the purposes of court proceedings.
So, what does happen to pensions on divorce?
As an overview, there are three main ways that pensions can be dealt with in divorces:
- Pension Sharing: where one spouse received a percentage share of their spouse’s pension pot.
- Pension Offsetting: where the value of one spouse’s pension pot is offset against other assets.
- Pension Attachment: where some of the value of one spouse’s pension pot is transferred to the other spouse.
Why PMC Family Law?
At PMC Family Law, we understand that no two clients are alike and that pension divisions cannot be dealt with in any one particular way. We take care to provide our client’s with bespoke advice based on their needs and circumstances.
It doesn’t matter whether you are facing divorce as a husband or wife, whether you have a public pension or private pension, or whether you have been paying into your pension for 5 years or 50 years; if you are facing divorce and are not sure where to turn to for advice, please contact the PMC Family Law team, headed up by Pauline McNamara on 0151 375 9968 for a free initial appointment to discuss your options.