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DWP Study into Pensions on Divorce

DWP Study into Pensions on Divorce
The qualitative study reported here is one of three studies commissioned by the Department of Social Security and undertaken in 1998 by Social and Community Planning Research (now the National Centre for Social
Research) to monitor the impact of new legislation on the treatment of pension rights on divorce.

The study involved 30 in-depth interviews with solicitors in England and Scotland who had taken part in an earlier
quantitative survey, and collected more detailed information about one of their divorce cases.

The main objectives of the study were to explore the nature of financial settlements arising from divorce, the role of pension rights within them, and the different ways in which pension rights are treated. The study also aimed to explore solicitors’ experiences of obtaining and using valuations of pension rights. A particular focus of the study was to explore the circumstances that led to the use of Attachment Orders and Section 12A Orders, introduced by the Pensions Act 1995, Sections 166 and 167, which come into effect in 1996.

In this study, the sample of solicitors was purposively selected from survey respondents, using information generated by the survey to ensure suitable composition. In the final sample, there were 13 cases that had involved earmarking, nine of which had used an attachment or Section 12A Order.

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