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What will happen to my pension?

This is a complicated issue, which requires careful consideration. There are so many factors involved, that it is not possible to give you a simple answer here. The sort of things that affect this question are:

What is offsetting?

Offsetting involves a trade off, using other capital assets to offset the value of the pension. For example "I will take more of the proceeds of sale of the house and/or savings, but will not claim any of your pension".

Disadvantage: there may not be enough capital around to make both of you self-sufficient after retirement - it may still be necessary to pay maintenance anyway.

What is earmarking?

Earmarking allows an order to be made now against the pension income or lump sum which arises to one party on retirement. For example " I will get an order now against your pension which the pension trustees will carry out, giving me an income by way of maintenance and part (or all) the lump sum that you get when you retire".

Disadvantage: the maintenance comes to an end if the person receiving it remarries; although the lump sum does not lapse (unless that is expressly agreed). It is difficult to administer, especially if it is a long time until retirement. There are still uncertainties.

Earmarking is not available in cases where the divorce petition was filed before July 1996.

How does 'Pension Sharing' work?

Pension Sharing - if a petition for divorce has been filed after the 1st December 2000, it is possible to divide pensions between spouses on divorce. This solution can help to make a clean break possible where previously long-term maintenance would have been contemplated.

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