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What are we each entitled to in our divorce settlement?

What does the law say about how to split the house, how to share pensions and other assets, and how much maintenance is payable.

What steps can we take to reach a fair agreement?

The four basic steps to reaching an agreement on divorce finances are: disclosure, getting advice, negotiating and implementing a Consent Order.

What is a Consent Order and why do we need one?

A Consent Order is a legally binding document that finalises a divorcing couple's agreement on property, pensions and other assets.


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Contradictory solicitors'' advice...

  • Linden17
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20 Sep 12 #356901 by Linden17
Topic started by Linden17
Hello, could anyone help with this question?

My husband and I have been given different information on splitting the pensions when we reach that stage. We were together for 19 years and married for 12 before he decided to leave 2 months ago. His solicitor has told him I will only have a claim on his pension for the time we were married but mine has told me that due to the length of the relationship, I can have a share of the whole amount. I also have a pension that will have to be offset agains his obviously, but it''s very small compared to his 3 different schemes. We''re both roughly the same age, earn roughly the same salary and have no children.
Any advice?

  • maisymoos
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20 Sep 12 #356903 by maisymoos
Reply from maisymoos
This is not an exact science and both solicitors are saying how it MAY be dealt with in Court. Sometimes only the pensions accrued during the relationship will count, other times the whole lot is in the pot regardless. Pensions cannot be considered alone but alongside the rest of the asset split and other considerations outlined in the Matrimonal Causes Act.

I think you will find many people on here will have experienced both ways to split a pension. In my case the whole pot was split 50/50 and my marriage was 15 years.

  • ian conlon actuary
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20 Sep 12 #356959 by ian conlon actuary
Reply from ian conlon actuary
Agree with maisy, from instructions I get (mostly on joint basis) I am asked to look at total pensions and also benefits accrued over marriage. It''s then up to the legal representatives to make a case for one or the other.
Ian

  • maggie
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21 Sep 12 #357084 by maggie
Reply from maggie
Challenge it - in my opinion his lot are gambling you''ll fall for it.
Tell them his bigger pension funds -[ any of them final salary or with a guaranteed annuity rate?] - were the basis of your marital financial planning and you''re looking to share all of them - unless there''s something much better/more liquid/less risky/more valuable you''d rather have?

Ian C., just out of interest,for excluding pre-marriage accruals - do you calculate the actual accruals made over the period before marriage or deduct, say for this case, ?seven nineteenths of the CETV at the date of divorce?
Does it amount to the same?
If it''s a defined contribution pension will the record show exactly how much was built up by a given date?

Does the actuaries'' professional body get any sort of feedback from the courts about what is "trending"/acceptable/required?
Are there any Law Society guidelines yet?

  • ian conlon actuary
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21 Sep 12 #357093 by ian conlon actuary
Reply from ian conlon actuary
Maggie, there are two methods of apportioning pension benefits to exclude pre marriage accrual.
Firstly, the more straightforward and more common method is to apportion, so if married 10 years amd completed 20 years service then 50% of benefits are pre marriage, adjustments can be made to allow for changes in accrual rates and other pension scheme changes over the period.
Secondly, calculate the actual accrued pension as if the member left service at date of marriage, index up in line with how early leaver benefits are increased pre retirement and deduct from total accrued pension.

If it''s defined contribution then the method depends upon the level of detail supplied, ideally the pot representing pre marriage contributions with investment return is excluded.

The actuarial profession as no stats on this as far as I''m aware, it''s a relatively small area of practice for actuaries.

  • Amberstone
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24 Sep 12 #357576 by Amberstone
Reply from Amberstone
Are you going via divorce mediation to allow each party to review what they have brought to marriage, and to see how much can be agreed/discussed without solicitors (and try and keep solicitor fees down too)? He may be more amiable when on his own, but my worry (but not that I have seen any evidence for this) he may have selected a “tough” acting expensive Solicitors. There may be significant factors in the many years before you married (with joint financial arrangements, or shared mortgage/house, etc) that may have influenced how your situation is understood by your solicitor, that the other solicitor wasn’t told… and another reason to use mediation to review all the material facts and its unique factors of your individual case. Plus, you may have made other significant contributions in the marriage, that may in part explain why “your” pension is now very small in comparison to his, if your salaries have been/are similar… which could influence things too. Minor observation, you say your solicitor said “I can have a share of the whole amount.”.. did they say explicitly say “what” % share they thought this was likely to be? I only ask as some solicitors can be too abstract (and so confusing) in their answers.
You may already have found this thread…

www.wikivorce.com/divorce/Divorce-Advice...umLong-Marriage.html

  • pixy
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24 Sep 12 #357577 by pixy
Reply from pixy
It''s also worth doing a sort of cost benefit analysis to see whether it is worth fighting it out. It''s amzing how amicable people get when they realise that they might end up paying tens of thousands of pounds ...

And you need to see the pension in the context of whatever other assets there are to divide and of your respective ages - will you have a chance to build up a bigger pension by the time you retire or are you so close to retirement that the size of the pension is an important issue?

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