Our solicitors are suggesting we do a joint instruction for a pensions actuary
I don''t want to get into a battle about which one we use, will it make any difference who''s appointments the actuary
Also stbx sol is saying that only 20 years of his pension should be taken into consideration ( length of marriage) my solicitor is saying that because it''s classed as a long marriage it''s all the pension who is right
Also will the financial settlement take into account the difference in salaries he earns £2k a month more than me
The point about jointly instructing an expert is that the parties both agree who the actuary should be.
Divorce settlements depend on the particular facts and it''s difficult to comment without knowing the particular details. Pensions have to be seen in light of the overall finances. Where assets originate from becomes less important with the passing of time so after a long marriage it''s usual for the whole pension fund to be considered a matrimonial asset.
Incomes are also seen in context of the overall circumstances. Someone on a lower salary is likely to have a lower mortgage raising capability and would require a larger share of capital to leave them on a similar footing as the higher earning spouse.
I work in pensions, looking after an ocucpational final salary (defined benefit) pension plan. The Trustees appoint an actuary to calculate the transfer value. I have never had a case where an independent actuary values the pension benefits?
In my case there was an actuary''s valuation of my ex''s pension (final salary, index linked etc).
In rough terms, his CETV was circa 200k. The lump sum he was due (retirement imminent) was some £100k. The gross valuation for the pension fund was some £400k - pretty much double the CETV - and the net was around £330k.
So a BIG difference.
In contrast my money purchase scheme (for a very much smaller sum) was actually valued at slightly less than the CETV I had received.
In practice as long as the recipient of the pension share can share within the scheme there is no real problem because no cash is actually taken out. Each party has their own pension with the firm/service.
However if a private pension needs to be purchased in order to equalise income on retirement (a common aim), it is entirely likely that the party with the pension would lose more than half of the CETV to achieve this.
When you get into offsetting against equity it can get trickier still ...
I can see that the money purchase pension is easier to value - surely it is the value of the pot, less any charges. However, I don''t agree that there is no problem if a different value is put on the CETV by an independent actuary. Say the pension is £10,000 per annum at date of separation and the CETV is £150,000, a £75,000/50% share means the member loses £5,000 per annum. However if an independent actuary puts a value of £200,000 on the pension and a 50% share is given, the member loses 66.67% of the pension - or am I missing something?