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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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where can I get advice about pension transfers

  • carer
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10 Oct 12 #360153 by carer
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Hi all,

My Solicitor has advised that I find an Independent Financial Adviser with regards to pension share and where to transfer it to. I have no idea how these things work - is it costly? How do I know I can trust the advice? Do advisers work on commission? You can tell I have no idea what to do.

Thanks for any advice and please explain things in an ''idiot proof'' way as you might aswell be talking double-dutch to me where pensions are concerned!

Carer

  • maisymoos
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10 Oct 12 #360154 by maisymoos
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Hi This worried me too at the beginning. My solicitor recommended a Financial Advisor, and I went with her recommendation. Ask yours if they have anyone they could recommend.

I had a couple of meetings to discuss the type of fund I would put my share into, and he is dealing with the transfers and sends me stuff to sign as and when. The sharing percentages and funds had were agreed in the Court Order.

I am receiving part of two funds, I was amazed that one was transfered in a couple of weeks, still waiting on the other.

pension sharing costs can be variable some schemes don''t charge others charge anything from £150 to £2,000. They have taken my fee from the fund balance so I haven''t had to stump up the cash.

Yes the Financial Advisor will charge too, make sure you are clear at the beginning what the charges will be. Again I have agreed that he can take his fee from the pension pot.

Hope that helps

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10 Oct 12 #360156 by carer
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Hi Maisymoos,

Thankyou. I have no idea whether there are any charges for transfering the pensions - will have to check all the paperwork - hopefully it wont be as much as £2000 though. Regarding payment of such costs - is there a choice whether to take it from the pension pot or is it down to the particular Adviser.

I think I have four pensions to sort out so probably will cost me a fair bit.

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  • maisymoos
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10 Oct 12 #360157 by maisymoos
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Give the pension schemes a call and ask what their charges are for pension sharing. Does your Consent Order state who is to pay the transfer costs? Ask if they will take the fee out of the pension fund too.

I think £2k is the higher end. One of my funds didn''t charge and the other was £180. Hope yours are the lower end too.

The schemes will want to see a copy of the Decree Absolute and Court/Consent Order.
You could do this yourself, but I wasn''t confident so have had financial advice.

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10 Oct 12 #360158 by dukey
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Very often the cost of sharing is half each, in some circumstances the cost can be deducted from the pension, not sure its wise to do that though, as Maisey says costs can vary wildly, the cost of internal or external transfer is rarely the same, from what i have seen external is always more expensive.

With any luck Ian the actuary will see this and offer some advice.

  • ian conlon actuary
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10 Oct 12 #360177 by ian conlon actuary
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The first issue, you do need a financial advisor, some solicitors will have a preferred advisor, others a panel whislt some shy away from making a recommendation. The important issue is that you use an advisor who is knowledgeable about pension sharing. I have contact with quite a few financial advisors throughout the UK so if you send me a message giving details of roughly where you live, I''ll see if I can pass on contact details.
There are three different types of costs.
Firstly, if there are a number of pension arrangements then advice is required to ascertain the best outcome in terms of which pension or pensions are best to share, this advice should also include what percentage is required to provide equal incomes/equal value of pension. The advice can be to one party or on a joint instruction basis. If there are defined benefit pensions/final salary (such as any of the public sector schemes) then an actuary is probably better placed than a financial advisor.
Secondly, the current pension arrangements have the right to charge for implementing the pension sharing order (each scheme is obliged to disclose it''s costs on request), the annex to the order will specify who meets these charges, some schemes permit these charges to be met by deduction from the value of either our spouse''s pension or the pension pot which is to be established for you. If part of the costs are to be met directly by your ex, then the share will not be implmented until he has paid his part of the costs, this can and does lead to delays in implementing a pension share.
The third type of costs relate to the advice you need in relation to where to invest the proceeds of the share on the assumption that the pension share results in a requirement to transfer out of a pension scheme.
Sorry for rambling on a bit, hopefully this has helped.
Ian

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10 Oct 12 #360179 by carer
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Hi Ian,

Thankyou. I will send a pm with address details. We have already agreed on the pension share - and not sure about costs so will need to check paperwork to see what is mentioned. We already have the Actuary Report and both paid equal costs.

I am hoping you will have a contact for my area - this is a minefield!

Thanks again for your reply - very helpful.

Carer

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