Hoping someone can offer me some advice on this. First Appointment next week and stbx''s solicitor is going to be asking for a full report on our pensions because mine is the larger and it is a uniformed services pension. I have obtained a CETV for my pension but stbx has provided a CETV which is 2 years old. Hers is also a public sector final salary scheme. Since her CETV was calculated she has significantly increased her salary and returned to full time work so I know her CETV would be much greater if calculated now.
Firstly, I would like to know if an up to date CETV should be obtained first because otherwise the actuary would be basing their calculations on out of date figures. Or do they account for that in some way?
Secondly, I assume they would be instructed on a joint basis but stbx''s solicitor has already contacted an actuary to ask for costs. I know this because they cc''d me into their reply. Would I not get a choice in the actuary to be used? If we jointly ask for a report, is there anything I should be aware of regarding what we ask for and the wording used? I am feeling a bit paranoid as I know the aim is to maximise the difference between our pensions. I know I''m going to lose some of my pension but I would prefer it to be done fairly! I''m representing myself and so far they haven''t played fair.
Firstly, yes I would ask for a new CETV as it is clearly not current. A lot has changed in the way public sector pensions CETVs are calculated and her one will not reflect this. Plus her circumstances have changed.
It is not unreasonable to ask for an up to date CETV and I would expect the actuary to insist on a more current one anyway.
Secondly, yes you should have a say on the actuary to be used because it is a joint instruction. It is also very important to get the wording right. Have you agreed between yourselves what the actuary is being asked to do or is the solicitor taking over. Getting the initial instruction right can save on issues later down the line.
Has the solicitor mentioned anything yet in terms of the instruction?
I''ve known all along that pensions would be an issue in our case and I knew that the solicitor would be making a case for a report rather than using CETVs. First Appointment is next week and I was intending to try and make a case for using CETVs as pensions similar schemes and likely to be similar(ish) values if they were calculated now so the cost may not be justified. I''m thinking this may be futile though and realistically I am expecting to have to pay for a joint instruction.
The solicitor has, as you say, taken over by contacting an actuary already. It is the actuary who has copied their response to me out of courtesy it seems. It''s just a breakdown of costs but I haven''t seen what the solicitor has asked the actuary to do or been given any of the info that was provided to them. I guess they are trying to get some figures ready for the court but I am in the dark a bit and can''t help feeling suspicious. I got the email totally out of the blue.
We haven''t agreed what we want the actuary to do. My stbx has said she doesn''t want a pension sharing order as she has her own pension provision albeit she retires later than me. She wants to offset the pension to give me less equity from the house and I know the aim of all this is to maximise the difference between the pensions. Ironically she is probably going to make offsetting impossible because I need to rehouse and she has the bigger income so a pension sharing order is probably going to be the fairer outcome.
Hi, firstly, it makes sense to have a jointly instructed actuary. It would be good to firstly identify exactly what questions need to be addressed. I am frequently asked to provide a quotation of costs for such a report where the solicitors approach more than one firm. I''m not saying that you should then necessarily go with the cheapest, but costs are an issue and at the end of the day you and your stbx will be picking up the cost.
Having a single instruction frequently results in a situation where not all the issues are addressed.
In relation to out of date CETVs, I would update both CETVs to start of month of date I''m doing the calculations, this is pretty straightforward for public sector schemes if you have a recent payslip. As long as this is the approach, waiting on a more up to date CETV just drags the issue out as you will then have to wait on the scheme providing the updated CETV, move forward with the report and in tandem have a new CETV requested which can then be checked against the actuary''s estimate of the current CETV.
You need to be either happy with the jointly instructed actuary or seek your own advice.
OK thank you. So the actuary would be able to bring the CETV up to date from a payslip? Would they not need to know pensionable service too?
If we agree to get a jointly instructed report there is no chance my stbx is going to get an updated CETV in the meantime. She has had four months to request one and not done so. It is not as if it costs anything so the only possible reason I can see is that they hope to use the old CETV figure which would be very unfair.