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What will happen to my pension?

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:

How long have you been married?

In very broad terms, the longer the marriage, the more likely it is that pension funds will have to be used to achieve a fair settlement.

How old are you?

If it is your pension fund that is going to be in question, then the older you are, the more likely it is to be a feature in a fair solution.

If it is your husband's or your wife's pension fund that must be considered, your own age will be important on the question of whether you have time to build up a pension fund of your own.

Have you got a pension each?

If you have both got some pension provision, it might be easier to settle a fair and balanced agreement without disturbing either fund.

What are your comparative earnings now?

If you are both earning about the same amount per year, and you have time to invest in future security, it may not be necessary to disturb any of the pension arrangements.

What is your potential for building up pensions from now on?

If you have sufficient salary to enable you to build up your own pension fund, you may not need any of your husband's or wife's pension fund to achieve a fair settlement.

If your are the one who has a large pension to look forward to, and you also have a high salary now, it may be appropriate to transfer part of the fund to your husband or wife who has much less in security for the future.

What are your immediate needs?

If your spouse is on a lower salary, and has urgent need of capital for accommodation, it may be better to agree to him or her having a greater share of the available assets now to provide a home.

It may be better to agree to an arrangement like this, and keep your pension fund intact, rather than splitting each financial item between you, including your pension fund.

Are there assets which could be off-set against pension entitlement?

As a very simple example, if you have just two assets, a house and a pension fund, of about the same value, you might find you can agree to the person with lower pay and urgent needs having the house, and the other keeping the pension fund.

This is called off setting.

It is almost always possible to negotiate an agreement where one partner has certain assets and the other partner has certain others. This can avoid disturbing investments unnecessarily, and losing the best results from them (which is usually to let them run to term).

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