I am a member of the Armed Forces Pension Scheme and, following my divorce in 2003, have a 30% pension sharing agreement with my ex. The Service Veterans and Pensions Agency is not particularly forthcoming with advice, so I have 2 questions:
1. Can the pension sharing agreement be amended, cancelled or reversed? The SVPA tells me that 'there is no mechanism in law' to do this, even though my ex would like a lump sum payment and is happy to cancel the sharing arrangement. What happens if people reconcile?
2. What happens to the pension sharing arrangement if I commute my pension. Will the debit be 30% of the reduced pension and 30% of the increased lump sum?
Hope to find an expert out there - my local solicitor had insufficient expertise to answer these questions! Regards to all - Garry
I am sure that you will have others comment on question 1.
Regarding question 2 - As you may know, a pension sharing order results in your ex having a totally separate entitlement, in this case, in the same scheme. For "technical" reasons, the scheme will maintain a record of your pre-pension sharing entitlement and against it; they will record the debit (that equates to the share that went to your ex). When you do anything with your pension, such as commute it or take the lump sum entitlement, they will then reduce your entitlement to take account of the pension debit.
The pension debit applies to the pension entitlement when the pension sharing order (PSO) was made. So, if you remained in service after the PSO was made, the debit would not apply to any part of your pension entitlement earned after the PSO.
IF you had no post PSO service, your pension will be about 30% of what it was before the PSO. I’m not sure what you mean when you say “… and 30% of the increased lump sum …” (probably due to me still being rather slow post Xmas). If you would like to have a go at putting it another way, I would be happy to try and answer.
Back to question one, I am not sure that it is legally possible to do this so rather than research the matter I’ll leave it to one of the legal experts to answer. But it puzzles me why you would want to do this once you are reconciled. Am I missing something really obvious?