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FORUM DIGEST- Legal Aspects of Pensions on Divorce

FORUM DIGEST- Legal Aspects of Pensions on Divorce


PLEASE RATE THIS ARTICLE - IF THESE DIGESTS ARE OF ANY USE IT MAY ENCOURAGE ME TO DO MORE http://www.wikivorce.com/divorce/Divorce-Forum/Pensions/33267-Legal-aspects-of-pensions-on-divorce.html MAIN POINTS DISCUSSED AS AT 22ND OCTOBER 2008 LAWYER'S VIEW OF HOW COURTS APPROACH OFFSETTING VALUATION CONSIDERATIONS FOR OFFSETTING PROVISION OF PENSION SHARING INFORMATION UNDERFUNDED SCHEMES FINANCIAL DAMAGE LIMITATION FROM PENSION SHARING TREATMENT OF PENSION CREDIT IFA SELECTION LAWYERS VIEW OF HOW COURTS APPROACH OFFSETTING Posted by maggie - 2008/07/16 15:31 On another thread Amanda made me an offer of help: I could do with some help on the legal aspects of pension sharing - we get loads of actuarial input from Peter and Nigel but they always properly steer clear of any "legal" aspects; I think the forum could do with more of the legal side of pensions on divorce from divorcelawyer - I was worried by her post on whether a CETV was needed at the FDR - that was just about the only thing that seemed clear to me from the legislation and could do with her reassurance on that. Peter and Nigel from BDM have said that lawyers are asking for actuarial reports based either on income or capital - but said they got no feedback from lawyers on how that was being dealt with in court. It would help if Amanda could tell us how that "income or capital" decision is made - what are the criteria? Are the courts happily dealing with pension sharing on the "either income or capital basis" referred to by BDM and what's happening about the notorious 25% CETV for offsetting? ==================================================================== Posted by divorcelawyer - 2008/07/18 17:15 Maggie here is a copy of a post I have done before on pensions... Firstly CETVs....CETVs are not something designed by courts or lawyers. They were a mechanism already in existance in the pension world that the justice system looked at and decided was as good an indication of "value" as any to be used in providing a figure to be used in matrimonial proceedings. Because a CETV was not a mechanism designed to be used by us lot at the coal face, there are several flaws to it, and in particular we know that for the Armed Forces, uniformed services and the NHS we have to get an actuarial report because a CETV is quite often significantly less for those pensions due to how those providers calculate the figure. In short, a CETV is a blunt tool, but the only tool we have readily available as a starting point. As Peter has told us all on many occasions, it can actually be worthwhile getting an actuarial valuation in all cases when a pension is relevant because it can prove to be beneifical...however, when at the coal face we have to undertake a costs benefit analysis of every step we take, so in many cases will just accept the CETV (save for those pensions above) just as we will try and agree a valuation of the FMH rather than spend funds on a proper valuation report. That said, if you want an actuarial report of yor own pension there is nothing stopping you instructing your lawyer to get you one. However, if you want an actuarial report in respect of your STBX pension and it is outside of the schemes above, you have to convince a judge to order it, and are likely to have to pay at least half the cost of it. And of course, it is not just the cost of the report - if either party disagrees with the report, the actuary has to be called...as the divorce lawyers bible (Duckworth) says... " ...it ramps up the cost of litigation to call an actuary, even as a single joint expert. The solution should therefore be reserved for those one off cases where precision really matters..." In short the issue of an actuarial report has to be looked at on a case by case basis to ensure the benefit outweighs the costs. The question of how much of a CETV or actuarial valuation of a pension should be taken into account for offsetting is a vexed one. A pension is not a capital asset so cannot be compared to one. There are several variables that need to be taken into consideration, such as whether the pension is in payment and if not how far off the pension is. The second variable is the impact of the age of the parties on this question. A party under 30 is not likely to succeed at all in having their STBX's pension brought into consideration. A party under 35 is unlikely to have a pension brought into consideration. At the other end of the scale, a party of 50 or above would certainly succeed in having the pension brought into consideration unless another section 25 criteria excluded it. This leaves us with the grey area of a party aged between 35 and 50 and how much consideration should be given to the pension. We also then have to throw into the mix the age of the STBX and consider how that effects the pension. The next variable is the duration of the marriage and how that impacts on the pension. If the marriage was long (over 20 years), this is likely to be an irrelevancy. In short marriages (up to 5 years) the pension is unlikely to be considered, unless one of the other section 25 criteria demand it. For marriages in between there will undoubtedly be an argument about the years of the marraige compared to the years of the pension, which may well reduce the amount of the pension which is taken into consideration. In short, what I am saying is that there are many variables which are taken into consideration when offsetting. There is a practice in some courts to look at a 25% as a figure that is fair in all the circumstances to cut through the arguments. In some cases this is fair, in others it is less so and therefore relevant arguments can and should be raised. When looking at ancillary relief it is hard to give general advice, as every case is decided on its own facts, and that is something that should always be remembered." It seems to me that people often look for precision and a one answer approach in these matters...but ancillary relief is far (very far) from being precise, and as I say to my clients - there is always more than one way to skin the cat. There is never only one answer in AR and you have to look at what is best for your client, in the short, medium and long term, and then let them choose what is more important to them. In many cases the client would be better off in the long term with a pension share, but for many women (and it is by and large women), the short and medium term is much more important to them, hence we look at offsetting for a bigger share of the pie now. Then we have to throw the facts of the case into the mix to work out what is a fair offsetting value. In terms of the income versus capital issue, again, it all depends on the facts of the case and how they interact with the section 25 criteria, plus what is most beneficial to the client and again, what the client wants in terms of the short, medium and long term. There isn't one answer as to what is best, as what is best for Mr X would never be what is best for Mrs Y. In terms overall about the pension problem and how we deal with it on the ground, this is no answer, but the answer is as above - we chuck it into the mix and see firstly how relevant the pension is and then what the client wants to acheive. I know that doesnt help folks on here, but that is the reality from the coal face. ==================================================================== Posted by maggie - 2008/07/18 17:34 Have you been able to successfully argue for a wife wanting an income-based pension share against a husband determined to resist and rejecting anything but a straight CETV split? Do District Judges buy the income based approach? What legal precedents persuade them? . If it's to be income based - how can the income be predicted without an actuarial report or Form P? ==================================================================== Posted by divorcelawyer - 2008/07/18 17:44 I certainly have never had a client who wanted an income based pension share so have never argued it - but I will ask Mr DL when he gets home. With my clients the top issue for wives tends to be keeping the house for herself and the children, and for husbands, getting out paying the bare minimum and keeping the pension intact. ==================================================================== Posted by divorcelawyer - 2008/07/18 17:46 PS Re my post as to whether a CETV was needed at FDR, what the post was attemting to convey was that in a situation where we know round about what the CETV is and we are doing a 50:50 share, we dont have to call a halt to get the CETV...I knew as soon as it was up I should have used the example of a house and not a pension ;) !!! ==================================================================== VALUATION CONSIDERATIONS FOR OFFSETTING Posted by Milo - 2008/07/17 23:50 I'm a financial planner and I'm therefore probably not the best person to comment from the legal perspective that you're looking for. …..there was a court case of Martin-Dye which after some toing and froing eventually set a ruling that where pensions form a significant part of a couple's assets then pension sharing with a view to equalising income ought to be considered. It established that it was actually the income part that was more important than the monetary value apportioned to it in the form of the Cash Equivalent Transfer Value or Cash Equivalent of Benefits. You can't spend £50,000 of CETV like you can spend £50,000 of cash. For a start, 75% of that CETV has to be paid as an income for life and it gets added to your taxable income when you receive that income. If you're deciding to use the CETV to offset against other assets it's not a fair trade off to offset the full value of the CETV against an equivalent value in liquid assets. Knocking off around 25% of the value of the CETV when offsetting against liquid assets is probably about fair. Judges should be willing to consider applications on either equalisation of pension income or equalisation of pension CETVs, but in my opinion, it's the income that's more relevant than the CETV, especially where the divorcing couple are receiving or about to receive their pension income. You just need to be really careful that you don't assume that 50% of the CETV will see each party having the same level of income, because that's unlikely to be the case. £25,000 of CETV is likely to be worth a lot more income to the 70 year old male smoker than it is to the 60 year old healthy wife who's divorcing him...! ==================================================================== Posted by maggie - 2008/07/18 09:03 I'm all for anything that simplifies sharing the pension and makes it understandable and therefore do-able or rejectable for sound reasons - but I'm worried about what happens to this "informal" solution at real FDRs- if a wife elects to go for equalisation of income and the pension member husband resists and insists on dividing the CETV as capital and refuses to have an actuarial valuation/report on the pensions resulting from sharing? ==================================================================== Posted by Nigel@BDM - 2008/07/18 09:42 Maggie I think you're right to be worried. The reason I've not entered this debate before is that I don't think that there is a answer that everyone agrees on. It seems to vary from court to court and judge to judge. Some, presumably including those you deal with Milo, go for equalising income, others go for income if the couple is in / near retirement else capital, some always go capital and some are open to suggestions! All case law relies on the circumstances of the case. So for example in Martin-Dye the pensions were in payment, hence the interpretation that equalising income might only apply to cases in / near retirement. Milo you are spot on that sharing the CETV 50/50 does not give 50/50 actual value to both parties, and definitely not 50/50 income. You need actuarial calculations to get the split needed to get meet these goals. Finally I've recorded my views a number of times in postings on arbitrarily discounting the pension valuation (CETV or a correct actuarial one). I think it's absolute rubbish and should not be done. What should be done is ensure that the true value of the assets post-sharing to the two individuals are equal. So typically the wife needs a house to live in and that has the greatest value to her, whilst the man is earning enough to afford accommodation but does want to retire as soon as possible, so the pension has the greatest value to him. However eeryone's circumstances are different and financial planners can be invaluable in identifying each person's aspirations, and then helping shape the settlement and subsequent use of income / assets to best meet those aspirations. ==================================================================== Posted by maggie - 2008/07/19 10:51 DL - could I take the opportunity to ask you about pension offsetting - where someone agrees not to share the pension but accepts something else instead - equal to the value of what they're giving up? If next week someone is sitting discussing their divorce settlement with their solicitor or barrister or they're at their FDR hearing listening to the judge and they are told that if they want to leave the pension intact and swop their share for a bigger share of the house,or something else , that they must accept only 25% of what the pension scheme says the pension is worth - as their advocate would you accept that? Peter and Nigel @ BDM have said that from an actuarial point of view it's nonsense - but people are faced with it - I was how could I have fought against having to accept it - other than by being forced into pension sharing which reduced the value of the pension by dividing it? What could I have said to convince my lawyers and the judge that it was "illegal" and irrational? ==================================================================== Posted by Milo - 2008/07/20 23:55 firstly the 25% figure that is often quoted is commonly a reduction of 25% rather than to 25% as your post suggests. In other words, £100,000 of pension fund gets offset with £75,000 of other assets. I can't imagine any circumstance when a reduction to £25,000 could be justified. As mentioned above, I think it is appropriate in most cases to offset a lower value of liquid assets against the value apportioned to the pension fund by way of the Cash Equivalent Transfer Value (CETV). Before setting out my reasoning, I'd like to qualify my comments by stating that I am a Chartered Financial Planner, authorised by the Financial Services Authority as a Pension Specialist, and one of a hundred or so financial advisers who are accredited by Resolution as a Divorce Specialist. The first important point to consider is that few people would choose to lock their money away out of reach until they are 65ish, and then use that money to buy an income for life that is taxed at your highest rate of income tax (see Note 1). Further, few people would choose to give up all of their capital saved for an income that by its nature is determined mainly by the yield on government gilts. The level of income is so poor that in many cases you could get a better return in a high interest deposit account where you would also still have access to your capital. Unless you are getting an employer pension contribution, the only reason people generally are willing to save in such a poor value product is because it is discounted by 20% for basic rate tax payers and 40% discounted for higher rate tax payers. Even then, for clients who are basic rate tax payers looking to save for retirement I will discuss Individual Savings Accounts as a viable alternative as 20% tax relief up front on a pension gets taxed at 20% when it comes back out making it almost tax neutral (see Note 2). Without the tax relief it represents such poor value that no self respecting adviser would recommend it. On divorce, the existing pension fund has already had that tax relief. If you then offset £100,000 of pension fund for £100,000 of cash you are effectively acquiring the product without the tax relief. Let's look at a few examples that further illustrate why liquid assets should be discounted when offsetting against pension funds. H and W are both earning £90K a year. H retains £100,000 of pension fund and W gets a full £100,000 in cash. W then makes a pension contribution of £50,000 over two tax years which only costs her £60,000 because the contribution enjoyed tax relief at the higher rate. W now has the same pension fund but £40,000 more cash. On a smaller scale this still works for basic rate tax payers, but with a 20% rather than 40% improvement. Here's another example. H has £100,000 of pension fund in a personal pension and W has £100,000 cash. H retires, finds a new partner and dies a couple of years later (too much excitement maybe). If H bought an annuity to generate his pension income his new partner may, depending on how he set the annuity up, have nothing at all. If H had set up an "Unsecured Pension" the fund would pass to his beneficiaries minus a 35% tax charge. Had it been W who died, the full £100,000 is probably still there (see Note 3). By the way, the 35% tax here is justified by HMRC because it represents the tax take they would expect to receive had he lived to a ripe old age and further highlights that every £1 in a pension pot is not worth as much as a £1 in your cash account. One final example. H is 60, W is 63 and both are basic rate tax payers who want to maximise their income in retirement. H has £100,000 of pension fund and W gets this offset with £100,000 of cash. With H's pension he can generate a taxable income of £6,720 per year which never increases, and after 20% tax he takes home £5,375 (see what I meant earlier about the returns compared to cash?). Meanwhile W uses her £100,000 to buy a non-pension version of this annuity (called a Purchased Life Annuity) and as she's a few years older this happens to also generate £6,720 per year. However, because it is a Purchased Life Annuity, the bulk of this income payment consists of a return of her original £100,000 and HMRC, god bless 'em, don't take tax from that part. This means that her take home, after tax on the interest element, is £6,375 per year. That's £1,000 a year more and 18.75% more than H is receiving. If I haven't bored you to tears and you're still reading I'll finish with the more touchy feely reason for discounting the pension fund. It relates to that old adage that a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. £100,000 of cash could make a real difference, not in however many years' time, but right here right now. It opens up choice, flexibility, peace of mind, security, a holiday to recover, etc. It's the reason divorcelawyer says her clients want cash not the pension. If it's locked up in the pension fund it won't do any of these things. In other words, you cannot enjoy the inaccessible £100,000 in your pension like you can enjoy it when it's in your pocket / bank / new property / stomach etc. You can't take it with you, so why not use it for something you really value? What ever price you would put on all of these benefits is the extra bit of discounting on top of the taxation issues illustrated above. Notes 1/ I'm referring here to "money purchase" pensions rather than "final salary" pensions where there is no employer contribution. In other words, looking at the position for people saving for their retirement and considering personal pensions. 2/ Under current rules 25% of the fund can be claimed as a lump sum free of tax so there is still a marginal tax advantage for basic rate tax payers. There is also a chance that some people will receive their pension at 0% if their income keeps them within the personal allowance but care then needs to be taken to ensure that by saving for your pension you're not losing out on pension credit. 3/ Inheritance Tax could reduce W's share by 40%. ==================================================================== Posted by dk_60 - 2008/07/21 10:31 You start your detailed response saying that you can't imagine a 75% reduction in CETV. My view is that's entirely feasable and I posted the following 3 weeks ago: My understanding of the discount factor applied to the pension value recognises that £1 today is not worth £1 in 20 years, but rather more. For example - if you want to have £1 in 20 years you only need invest about 25p and leave it attracting 6.5% interest for the term. Thus £1 in 20 years is discounted to a Net Present Value (NPV) of 25p now. This is because the pension value can't be released for another 20 years, unlike a home that can be sold at any time. Your expertise in this area certainly exceeds mine but my argument re NPV appears to supported by the Maskell vs Maskell precedent often quoted. Clearly if the period between divorce and retirement is less then the discount factor will change. ==================================================================== Posted by Milo - 2008/07/21 14:01 while I agree with your explanation of the present value of money, the CETV does represent the net present value of that future income. If no further pension contributions are made the CETV will be worth considerably more in 20 years as it too may have increased by 6.5% per year over that period. Any judgment that discounts the CETV on the belief that the CETV will be the same value in absolute terms at some time in the future is fundamentally flawed. ==================================================================== Posted by dk_60 - 2008/07/21 16:03 Point taken re increasing value of funds. However in my case the STBX has a final salary pension, as I do, but has somewhat less years in the bank. She wants to offset the difference from the property sales. Consequently I think that we should take the two CETV's, divide the difference in value by 2 - and then apply effectively an NPV discount. In this case that would be circa 75% as we are in our 40's with about 20 years to go before retirement. That would give a cash settlement figure for the difference in fund values, on an apples for apples basis, in todays money. Would you agree with that analysis in those circumstances? ==================================================================== Posted by Milo - 2008/07/22 00:23 REPLY: The honest answer here, DK, is that if STBX approached me and said "Milo, here's the offer, should I accept?" I'd say no. Which is not to say that you shouldn't try it; you may get away with it, but your calculation disadvantages her. I'm with you to the point where you say (and I'll make up some numbers here) I've got £100K of CETV, you've got £50K, the difference is £50K, split it to £25K each. But as that £25K will revalue each year in line with the revalued pension promised from it, I can't see any justification for then applying a NPV discount to the £25K. If she's a higher rate tax payer then I'd tell her "You can't have £50K more of the property because it will only cost you £30K to get to my extra £50K of CETV through making a further pension contribution" (£40K if she's a basic rate tax payer). That would get me to a 20% or a 40% discount. I'd then say "Look, my pension's bigger than yours but frankly it's no use to me whatsoever for at least another 20 years. I'd rather have the cash so that I can take up rock climbing and go bull running in Pamplona once a year. I'm not sure I'll even get to see that pension. So if you're interested in offsetting other assets against the difference in our pensions then I'm only interested in a massive discount to the CETV on top of the tax discount." Taking it further I might also suggest that she accepts a pension sharing order instead. You could then possibly put her off with details of how much the scheme would charge to affect the order, explain that she might have to transfer the credit elsewhere and end up having a money purchase pension with the credit. If she accepts the pension sharing route you will have genuinely equalised pension assets but as you're male, you can have the victory of knowing that equalising CETVs didn't equalise income and that you'll probably get more income from your £75K of CETV than she will from hers. ==================================================================== Posted by hadenoughnow - 2008/07/23 16:08 Can I just ask your opinion. I have a cetv for my stbx's pension (index linked company pension paid into for 25+ years .. but not for the past 10 years). He can take this pension at 60 .. which is very soon. The pension lump sum (which I understood to be a quarter of the fund) is half the value of the CETV ... so 100k lump sum, 200k CETV. We have only ever had one CETV. The Actuary's report put the actuarial valuation at some 65k+ more than the CETV .. and the net replacement value was over 60% MORE than the CETV - circa 300+k . I have FH soon .. and have had some very useful opinions on the pension valuations and which shd be used .. but I would be interested in your take. In court erecntly there was discussion about the lump sum beiung treated as cash - and the remaining CETV being 100k ... half what was originally quoted .. but surely that cannot be right?? Should we be asking for a non underfunded CETV as well?? Or shd that be the same as the actuarial vauation?? I want to offset the pension if possible ... :unsure: :unsure: :unsure: ==================================================================== Posted by Milo - 2008/07/23 18:06 REPLY: firstly I'll need to put a caveat on my reply here because I cannot give financial advice without assessing your personal circumstances beforehand. So my reply is not advice and it should not be interpreted as such but just my thoughts based on the scenario you have outlined.:) As stbx is close to pension age I think the tax free cash is almost like cash. If you want to offset you can put an attachment order on that tax free cash sum if it's agreed but you need to be aware that an attachment order (as opposed to a pension sharing order) would cease if stbx died before retirement age (you could consider a life policy if this worries you). Your solicitors will need to draw up an agreement that he takes the Tax Free Lump Sum at retirement. Personally I'd want to have an independent actuarial valuation for his pension assuming that he takes the tax free cash. I think you then have a case to argue that you should treat the tax free cash as entirely seperate (half each for example depending on what other offsetting you are doing) and negotiate based on the independent actuarial valuation of his scheme benefits after payment of the tax free cash. Unless he protected his Tax Free Cash Lump Sum entitlement in April 2006, the lump sum should represent 25% of the crystallised value of his benefits and as such, I would expect the scheme CETV after payment of £100,000 lump sum to be considerably higher than the £100k implied. By the way, depending on his tax position in retirement and the rate at which the scheme commutes pension to lump sum, it is not necessarily in his interests to take the tax free lump sum. There really are a considerable number of issues that would need to be looked at before you could reach the point where a financial planner could give you advice on this. It's important to check that the CETV provided was in the knowledge that it is needed for divorce purposes. I think it's still fair to negotiate on that independent valuation though. It is independent after all. ==================================================================== Posted by maggie - 2008/07/21 15:11 Thanks for your comments - I'm relieved that it's not regarded as the norm or acceptable to offer only 25% of the CETV. Can you transfer cash ISA's and keep the tax free status? If you were in charge of the regulations,what would you use to value a pension for divorce? Do you think pension trustees should be allowed to turn a pension credit in a final salary scheme into a money purchase pension credit? ==================================================================== Posted by Milo - 2008/07/21 23:39 REPLY: Can you transfer cash ISA's and keep the tax free status? The tax free status would be lost I'm afraid Maggie If you were in charge of the regulations,,, Well, I think there's nothing wrong in principal with the Cash Equivalent Transfer Value (CETV) concept as a way of placing a capital sum today on the future value of that income. But I think that in order to improve the position for members of final salary schemes, the government would need to set out rules about how the pension schemes must calculate their CETVs rather than leave significant factors down to the discretion of the scheme. It is little short of a disgrace that pension schemes can get away with calculating CETVs using outdated assumptions about how long people will live. To explain what I mean here, if the value is based on a pension being paid for 20 years because that was what life expectancy used to be, but that life expectancy is actually more like 23 years, the value today to pay for 20 years of pension will be less than the amount actually needed to pay the income for 23 years. As pension scheme actuaries and advisers cannot be trusted to play fair in the valuations, or perhaps more pertinently the companies who own the schemes can get away with ignoring the advice of their scheme actuaries, then maybe the government should step in and regulate it. But life is never so simple, and the consequences of forcing companies to value their pension liabilities more fairly would cost employers billions and billions of pounds. The knock on effect on the economy would be huge as profits would need to go to pension schemes rather than back in to grow their businesses or as dividends to shareholders, share prices would fall further, and it would probably kill off final salary schemes for good. Do you think pension trustees should be allowed to turn a pension credit in a final salary scheme into a money purchase pension credit? Sorry, Maggie, but on balance I think it's OK. If I was a trustee of a pension scheme that's probably what I'd do. As a trustee you have the legal duty to manage the assets in the trust (the pension fund) for the benefit of the beneficiaries (the members). When you compare the assets of the trust (the money invested) to the liabilities (the money promised to members) almost all schemes are at least a bit strapped for cash. When the scheme receives a pension sharing order it is an instruction for a part of the benefits promised to one of your beneficiaries to pass to someone who is not currently a beneficiary. If the trustee accepts the recipient of the pension credit as a new member then they are setting up a brand new liability. Bearing in mind that the trustees is protecting all the beneficiaries' interests, it could be argued that by accepting a new member you are increasing the risk for everyone else. if you're already concerned that the scheme may be a bit light, increasing the liabilities could be argued to be an inappropriate decision for a trustee to make. Interestingly the schemes that allow the recipient of a pension credit to become a shadow member of the scheme are either exceptionally well funded schemes or conversely schemes that are so poorly funded that they cannot afford to transfer the pension credit out of the scheme on an unreduced basis. ==================================================================== PROVISION OF PENSION SHARING INFORMATION Posted by maggie - 2008/07/22 09:37 Milo and dk - thanks -could I ask you about this? Milo said: "explain that she might have to transfer the credit elsewhere and end up having a money purchase pension with the credit." In your experience Milo, when they're negotiating whether to share and if so how much - do couples know at that stage how the pension scheme would deal with the newly created pension credit in thir case? Just looked at the regs for pension sharing information. http://www.opsi.gov.uk/si/si2000/20001048.htm They allow the member or the spouse or the court to request the following information direct from the scheme: (d) whether the person responsible for the pension arrangement offers membership to a person entitled to a pension credit, and if so, the types of benefits available to pension credit members under that arrangement; (e) whether the person responsible for the pension arrangements intends to discharge his liability for a pension credit other than by offering membership to a person entitled to a pension credit; Do these regulations entitle the spouse to know for certain how the pension scheme would deal with a pension credit in his or her specific case before negotiating a pension share? Form P Section B Questions 4 and 5 is the standard way of making the request for that information? ==================================================================== Posted by Milo - 2008/07/22 21:15 That's the right legislation Maggie and providing when you ask for the CETV you make it clear that it is in connection with a divorce (and it's really important that you make this clear because the CETV could be calculated on an inferior basis in an underfunded scheme if you have simply asked for a CETV) then the schemes clearly state how they would treat a pension credit. So yes, the information is there, but whether the effect of this is fully grasped by all parties is an entirely different matter... That's where financial planners can help.:) ==================================================================== Posted by maggie - 2008/07/23 10:28 Under the regs it appears only the pension member or the court is allowed to ask the pension scheme for a CETV - the spouse can't? Milo, you've said: "then the schemes clearly state how they would treat a pension credit." According to the Law Society Family Law Protocol Form P lists all the information that could or should be asked for from the pension scheme.Form P doesn't ask for the name of the person completing the form or a signature. Can the information and undertakings given in Form P or any other communication be set aside later by the Trustees? What information would you expect to see before you'd be happy to negotiate a share of a final salary pension? ==================================================================== Posted by Milo - 2008/07/23 14:58 maggie wrote: What information would you expect to see before you'd be happy to negotiate a share of a final salary pension? While the court would request completion of Form P if a pension sharing order was requested by either party, I tend to write to the trustees with my own letter, including the members authority for access to information, asking for; CETV in connection with a divorce Usual literature issued by the scheme on receiving requests in connection with a divorce Confirmation on how the scheme would deal with a Pension Credit Confirmation that the CETV assumes no Pension Commencement Lump Sum is taken. Commutation rate for converting pension to lump sum at normal retirement age. If shadow membership allowed, I'll ask for the factors they use to convert a pension credit award into an income for the recipient Confirmation of any protected Tax Free Cash entitlement at A Day A copy of the scheme rules A copy of the latest member communication Scheme definition of spouse (does it include the need for the spouse to be living together at the date of death?) By and large, the answers to these questions will allow me to highlight the strengths and weaknesses, opportunities and threats of using it in a settlement. This is most effective when I'm doing it in a collaborative divorce and can produce a report outlining all the key issues and helping the divorcing couple and their two solicitors reach an agreement that makes the maximum use of their assets. ==================================================================== Posted by maggie - 2008/07/24 10:19 Is there any reason why a final pension scheme could not be required to state in some form that "can later be relied on in court" and before pension negotiations break out eg before FDR hearing so that it informs the settlement - could the scheme easily/at no cost state that: "in the case of the spouse of pension member x the scheme y will offer membership: a]on a money purchase basis only stating the age at which the pension can be taken. b]on a defined benefit basis only as follows .... or c] will allow the ex-spouse to choose between a and b or d]will require the ex-spouse to transfer out his/her share of the full CETV at the date the pension sharing order is implemented" Then people negotiating a pension share would be entitled under the regulations to see what the deal would be ? ==================================================================== Re:Legal aspects of pensions on divorce Posted by Milo - 2008/07/24 13:08 I think it is possible to get all that information up front and if concerned / doubtful to request that in writing. I sense that the bigger problem is more that people aren't sure what questions to ask (although they will if they've digested this thread) or if they do, what the answers mean. ==================================================================== Posted by maggie - 2008/07/30 10:18 If you're at your FDR - looking at your husband's pension CETV listed in the list of assets drawn up by your solicitor how can you or the judge or your barrister tell whether it's a reduced CETV or not? How can you know at your FDR negotiating your pension share whether you will be allowed to stay in the scheme and get the full CETV or be forced out and have to take a reduced amount? ==================================================================== Posted by Milo - 2008/07/30 10:32 This information is usually standard issue although perhaps some smaller schemes will not have an automatic process. Statutory Instruments 2000 (1048) "The Pensions on Divorce etc. (Provision of Information) Regulations 2000" 2 (3) states that on request from a member or the spouse of a member that the scheme should let you know; (b) how the CETV has been calculated (which will explain whether it has been reduced or not) (d) and (e) whether it allows shadow membership or if they plan to force you to take your pension credit elsewhere. Edited to add this link: www.opsi.gov.uk/si/si2000/20001048.htm ==================================================================== UNDERFUNDED SCHEMES Posted by maggie - 2008/07/23 09:33 In my case the pension scheme said that the information was for divorce purposes and quoted the underfunded "scaled back" CETV and a full CETV - but only the £70k lower scaled back CETV was recorded by my solicitor in the schedule of assets for my FDR hearing - it appears that my barrister and judge only looked at the A4 at a glance crib sheet produced by my solicitor rather than looking at the source of the information. Should the full CETV have been listed in the assets for the FDR hearing? The full pension CETV was the same value as the mortgage-free family home. I wonder if I could have kept the family home of 20 years instead of having to sell it and move away if the pension had been properly valued and the effect of splitting it had been disclosed to the court. ==================================================================== Posted by Milo - 2008/07/23 14:24 Hi Maggie, I'm afraid it should have been the full CETV that was used not the reduced one. I would say it's worth a phone call to your solicitor... When a scheme is underfunded (the capital value of all the promised pensions is less than the assets held in the Fund), a Pension Scheme is allowed to quote a value for a member's benefits that reflecfts the shortfall if benefits are transferred. The theory beind this is that if that if a member transferred the full value out while the scheme was short on assets it would create a greater and unfair strain on the remaining members. The reduced CETV is in theory a way of ensuring that members who transfer get their fair share of the funds' assets and acts as a deterrent to stop members from taking advantage of the underfunded position. On divorce, however, what you're aiming to achieve with the CETV is to get a fair capital value for the promise of future income assuming the member stays in the scheme. You are not remotely interested in a value that assumes the member is actually thinking of transferring out because that's not on the agenda. It is irrelevant to the scheme's valuation for divorce purposes whether the scheme is underfunded or sitting with a nice surplus (although the funding position is highly relevant to how you and your stbx factor it in to your settlement!). The rules state that if a pension sharing order is applied to an underfunded final salary scheme, if that scheme insists that the member transfers the money away from the scheme then they must apply the pension credit against the undiscounted CETV. After all, you haven't asked the scheme to transfer your credit elsewhere so you can't be accused of playing the system and trying to get an unfair share of the scheme's assets. That's the reason why I mentioned earlier in this thread that some underfunded schemes prefer to allow shadow membership of the scheme to a recipient of a pension credit than to pay out a CETV on an unreduced basis. If they offer shadow membership but you choose to transfer your pension credit away then the underfunded CETV can then apply because you are then applying choice. EDIT: As an update to my reply here, while the above scenario is unquestionably the stance taken by some schemes (I have first hand experience with one scheme in particular) there is a question mark over whether this is a legal requirement or whether this is down to trustee discretion. I'm looking into it and will update, but in the meantime, it's still not safe to assume the reduced CETV is the correct figure to use - it would be best to check with the particular scheme about how they would apply the pension credit in practice. ==================================================================== FINANCIAL DAMAGE LIMITATION FROM PENSION SHARING Posted by SSandy - 2008/07/23 16:36 Milo You mentioned that when you have answers to the questions that you put to the scheme you could highlight the strengths and weaknesses for a settlement. What information helps you judge whether a sharing order could cause financial damage? ==================================================================== Posted by Milo - 2008/07/23 21:22 REPLY: It's typically a question of limiting the financial damage rather than whether there would be damage or not. If someone has two pension schemes with equal CETVs there will be a good financial reason why one is better suited to a sharing order than another but the variables really are so great that you could write a (dull) book on it. If there's only one pension then it comes down more to which out of pension sharing, attachment, offsetting or a combination of these will retain the most value to the separating couple. The single biggest tip I can give with regards to final salary schemes is that if the credit has to be transferred to a money purchase scheme then applying a sharing order is unattractive. And if you are likely to be the recipient of that pension credit then you should seriously consider seeking to equalise pension income rather than equalise the CETV. To give you an example of this in practice, I recently worked on a case where a divorcing couple were both the same age; had we put a 50% sharing order on his pension and transferred the credit to a stakeholder pension it was projected to generate an income 30% lower for her than his 50% reduced pension. While some degree of pension sharing to equalise income may be inevitable, this can be kept to a minimum by also incorporating offsetting, possibly an attachment order on tax free cash (with a life policy), and making an additional money purchase pension contribution (with tax relief). ==================================================================== Posted by maggie - 2008/07/23 21:46 Outside divorce, no-one in their right mind would transfer out of a final salary pension - but ex-spouses are being forced out because the legislation allows it and the mechanism in the regulations and embodied in Form P for making the pension scheme tell the spouse that s/he will be forced to transfer out is very weak - almost non-existent- no final salary pension share should be negotiated without that information. It should not be possible to share a final salary pension without a signed declaration from the pension scheme on the destiny of the new pension credit pension. ==================================================================== Posted by Nigel@BDM - 2008/07/24 10:10 Milo, Your views on the detriment on pensions sharing follows our own. We always value any loss in our actuarial reports and sometimes the lost value is substantial. Strangely we find the various State schemes the best as they follow the spirit of the law and try not to destroy value. Unfortunately though, as they are also looking to create clean breaks, the only way they can do it leaves the donor party much better off than the receiving party. So you have to alter the percentage of the CETV shared to balance it out. Can I just expand on your point that the recipient of a pension credit should look to equalise income, not capital. I assume that you are referring to the normal case where the wife is the receipient and they are of similar ages and health. In other circumstances you might be better arguing for a capital split. (And of course there is case law to lay on top of that). ==================================================================== Posted by Milo - 2008/07/24 13:15 REPLY: Thanks for adding that clarity Nigel and I agree. My point was more to highlight that equalisation of income should be considered rather than only considering equalisation of CETVs and there could be many reasons why after considering it you would rule it out. ==================================================================== PENSION CREDIT IMPLEMENTATION Posted by maggie - 2008/07/23 16:07 For "shadow membership" how do finally salary schemes convert the CETV %/pension credit into a pension - do they use the same years x 60ths or 80ths of salary formula applied to the member's pension? Is the "pension promise" always lost with the new pension credit pension? ==================================================================== Posted by Milo - 2008/07/23 16:32 REPLY: I'll try it with an example. Imagine the wife is a member of a scheme and has earned £10,000 per year in pension papyable in 20 years time when she reaches 65. On the valuation date, the scheme values that £10K a year with a CETV of £100,000. The sharing order is 50% so £50,000 of CETV is apportioned to the new shadow member and that £50,000 is converted back in to a pension for him whenever he reaches the scheme retirement age. The scheme actuary will use the same calculation that they did for calculating the CETV in reverse, but using factors relevant to the life expectancy of the new member. If they are both the same age, this should mean that he gets slightly more than the £5,000 a year that she has lost. ==================================================================== Posted by maggie - 2008/07/29 11:28 A while back Milo said about the pension CETV that appeared in the schedule of assets used for negotiating a divorce settlement: "it should have been the full CETV that was used not the reduced one" Is using the full CETV not a reduced/underfunded one written into the regulations - ie is it a requirement? ==================================================================== Posted by Milo - 2008/07/29 15:03 Hi Maggie, Peter at BDM and I have had a bit of correspondence on this subject and I've undertaken a bit of research prompted by your post. My conclusion at this point in time (and I may pursue it further when I have more time) is that the figure you should use will be dependent on how the Scheme chooses to implement the Pension Credit. Para 1(2) of Schedule 5 of the Welfare Reform and Pensions Act 1999 allows the scheme to make the recipient of the Pension Credit a member of the Scheme. Para 1(3) allows the scheme to force the recipient of the credit to transfer it away. Statutory Instruments 2000 (1052) "The Pension Sharing (Valuation) Regulations 2000", Para 4 (3) (iii) allows an underfunded scheme to use a reduced CETV. Para 5 (5) goes on to state that where the scheme accepts the recipient of the Pension Credit as a member of the scheme they must use an unreduced CETV. The logical conclusion from this is that if you're allowed shadow membership the unreduced CETV applies but if they insist you transfer the credit elsewhere the reduced CETV applies. My view stated earlier in this thread was based on a case I dealt with in November 2006 where the CETV was reduced by one third due to being underfunded if the credit was to be transferred. I was informed by the scheme that they did not want to pay out an unreduced CETV and therefore they allowed shadow membership at the unreduced value. I've checked over my file notes for that case and as I only have a note of a telephone conversation I can't comment on whether this was a trustee decision or whether there was some legislation that I have been unable to find that compelled them. I find it hard to believe that any scheme would choose to accept the liabilities of a new member on an unreduced basis when they could get away with buying out the liabilities at a heavily reduced rate. But my research certainly leads me to that conclusion. So in summary, the CETV you should use depends on how the scheme administers the Pension Credit award. ==================================================================== Posted by maggie - 2008/07/30 09:26 "The logical conclusion from this is that if you're allowed shadow membership the unreduced CETV applies but if they insist you transfer the credit elsewhere the reduced CETV applies." I've looked in 2005 Roger Bird's Ancillary Relief Handbook - at 10.54 he quotes WRPA Schedule 5 para 8 ; he says it: "provides for the amount of a pension credit which derives from an occupational scheme and which is to be the subject of an external transfer to be reduced when the scheme which is subject to the minimum funding requirement under the Pensions Act 1995,s56 is underfunded on the valuation day......." ie he agrees with Peter and Milo. So under the legislation an underfunded final salary scheme can force out the spouse with a pension credit and force him/her to accept a reduced CETV? ==================================================================== Posted by maggie - 2008/07/30 11:36 So this statement is not correct ? - it's from 2001 - but I've read it in other places http://www.the-actuary.org.uk/pdfs/00_11_01.pdf "In the case of a final salary scheme funded at significantly less than 100% on the MFR basis (so that normal transfers are on a reduced basis), our present reading of the legislation is that a reduced external transfer of the pension credit can be paid only if the scheme has offered the alternative of scheme membership in respect of the full amount of the pension credit (although this does not prevent a reduction on a subsequent transfer out of the scheme of the pension credit)." It seems to say you must be given the choice of staying in the scheme if the alternative is transferring out a reduced CETV pension credit? ==================================================================== Posted by Milo - 2008/07/30 12:05 Good work there Maggie! This backs up my original understanding but I've been unable to find the rules that support this View. Even this article only refers to it being their present reading without pointing to what they read to lead them to this view. As stated above, this was certainly also the view of one scheme that I dealt with as recently as a year and a half ago. You've given me the incentive to try and dig a bit deeper though! ==================================================================== Posted by maggie - 2008/07/30 12:08 This looks current: http://www.mercerdotpen.co.uk/content.asp?article_id=MPNUP00001 "Implementation of the Pension Sharing Order - Internal and external transfers ........... The regulations suggest two circumstances when internal transfers could be the only option. These are when a scheme is underfunded and a reduced transfer value requires the ex-spouse's consent, or if the ex-spouse dies before liability can be discharged." -still no references - sorry ==================================================================== Posted by Milo - 2008/07/30 12:58 Found it. The only way that the trustees of an underfunded scheme can force a recipient of a Pension Credit order to transfer their credit out of the scheme on a reduced basis is if the scheme has offered shadow membership on an unreduced basis and the recipient has refused to become a shadow member. Therefore I stand by original statement that the full CETV and not the reduced CETV should be factored in to your settlement. Source: www.opsi.gov.uk/si/si2000/20001053.htm#16 Statutory Instrument 2000 No. 1053 - "The Pension Sharing (Implementation and Discharge of Liability) Regulations 2000" Adjustments to the amount of the pension credit - occupational pension schemes which are underfunded on the valuation day 16. - (1) The circumstances referred to in paragraph 8(1)(d) of Schedule 5 to the 1999 Act (source: www.opsi.gov.uk/Acts/acts1999/ukpga_19990030_en_17#sch5) (adjustments to amount of pension credit) are -. ...(b). the person entitled to the pension credit has refused an offer by the trustees or managers of the occupational pension scheme from which the pension credit is derived to discharge their liability in respect of the pension credit, without any reduction in the amount of the credit,... ==================================================================== Posted by maggie - 2008/07/30 14:48 Those pension sharing regs are brain numbing.Can you check this out?: You can't be forced out of an underfunded final salary scheme on a reduced CETV. You can still choose to transfer out but the scheme, having offered you an internal transfer, can then limit your pension credit to your % of the reduced CETV. To make a sensible choice you will still have to find out what the deal is if you stay in the final salary scheme- it would be your share of the full CETV - but could still be money purchase benefits not "defined benefits" The scheme could also offer you your share of the full CETV on condition you transfer out - to get rid of you? Is there any point haggling with the Trustees over their price for getting rid of your pension credit? ==================================================================== Posted by Milo - 2008/07/30 15:29 maggie wrote: You can't be forced out of an underfunded final salary scheme on a reduced CETV. Correct. You can still choose to transfer out but the scheme, having offered you an internal transfer, can then limit your pension credit to your % of the reduced CETV. Correct. To make a sensible choice you will still have to find out what the deal is if you stay in the final salary scheme- it would be your share of the full CETV - but could still be money purchase benefits not "defined benefits". Correct. Defined benefits is almost certainly preferable if it's offered, but they could in theory offer an unreduced CETV Pension Credit into a money purchase arrangement they run. However, if they are heavily underfunded, the "cheaper" option for them is to offer the defined benefits option because that doesn't involve the Trustees having to write a large unreduced cheque out of their depleted coffers whereas the money purchase option would need a physical movement of funds. After all, there would be nothing to stop you transferring money out of the Money Purchase scheme once the credit had passed into it on an unreduced basis. The scheme could also offer you your share of the full CETV on condition you transfer out - to get rid of you? That's right. Is there any point haggling with the Trustees over their price for getting rid of your pension credit? The price is set by regulation and has to be in proportion to the amount the scheme is underfunded. Before you consent to transferring your Pension Credit on a reduced basis they have to tell you the reason why it's been reduced, the amount it has been reduced by and an estimate of the date by which it will be possible to pay the full, unadjusted amount of the pension credit. If you had any reason to be suspicious of the calculation you could always run it passed a firm of independent actuaries for a second opinion. ==================================================================== Posted by maggie - 2008/07/31 09:37 One last hurdle for me : if the final salary scheme is about to be closed to new members and closed to further accruals could/should the scheme still be offering scheme membership to a spouse in informatioN requested for divorce purposes? How would anyone outside the scheme know the scheme was as good as closed? Could the scheme then later argue it was impossible for an ex-spouse to retain her pension credit within the scheme although that had been offered at the FDR stage? ==================================================================== Posted by Milo - 2008/07/31 10:10 If the scheme is alive and kicking, but they don't allow new members and existing members accrue no additional benefits, then the same rules apply. It's either become a pension credit member on an unreduced CETV or transfer your credit away on an unreduced CETV. Only if you didn't consent to become a member could they force you to leave with a reduced CETV. If the scheme is dying / dead and has fallen (or is about to fall) on the Pension Protection Fund then we're opening up a whole new avenue of discussion. I'll assume (hope!) from your description that this is not the case, but for anyone affected by this the following articles should answer all questions. www.ppfonline.org.uk/ppf/pdf/PPF_factsheet_divorcev5.pdf and page 4 of www.ppfonline.org.uk/ppf/pdf/PPF_factsheet_compensation%20calculatedv5.pdf FINANCIAL PLANNING - IFA Posted by maggie - 2008/07/31 10:25 If a defined benefit scheme told you it could not allow a 60 year old ex-spouse with a pension credit to become a member of the defined benefit section which was closed to new members because it would have to set up a defined benefit pension specially for that individual - but that it could offer membership of the money purchase AVC section - with 1% annual management charges and NRD of 65 not 60 - would you fight it or accept it? ==================================================================== Posted by Milo - 2008/07/31 11:13 If the CETV is unreduced then they are entitled to do that. However, I would ask them to confirm; 1/ They will not apply any initial charge to implement the Pension Credit in the AVC scheme over and above their reasonable charge for administering the Credit. 2/ Ask them to confirm that no-one will receive any commission as a result of them putting you in the AVC scheme (with a 1.0% AMC I would expect someone such as the scheme's financial adviser to be receiving commission - which is fine if that adviser is giving advice to you personally but not if they are not). 3/ That the charges are the same as you would get with a stakeholder i.e. no initial charges or exit charges, no policy fees, no charges for transferring. Assuming that they confirm point 3, you are then free to transfer the unreduced CETV to whichever company you and your financial adviser agree is the most appropriate for you. At 1.0% the AVC is cheapish (though you can get cheaper) but cheap is not always the same as value for money. You could take retirement benefits straight away (which won't get you anywhere near as much income as you would get from being a member of the defined benefit scheme unfortunately). Unless they are using some archaic charging structure for the AVC the age 65 bit is a red herring. That may well be the scheme retirement age but there's nothing to stop you taking the CETV now and buying a pension income for life. As this is the first opportunity for a shameless plug for my profession, I hope you'll forgive me for grasping it.;) Anyone receiving a "money purchase" pension credit really ought to see a financial adviser who can give independent advice About your options. If you are looking to take retirement benefits with the credit the adviser can scour the market for the best Open Market annuity rate, explain the difference between guaranteed annuity rates, flexible annuities and "unsecured pensions", and assess your personal circumstances to help you reach a decision on which route suits you best. If you are not taking benefits straight away then a financial adviser can assess your attitude to investment risk, explain how different risk profiles might affect your retirement income, help you plan ahead for your retirement and advise on the best value "money purchase" plan and fund choices for you. To find a local IFA visit http://www.unbiased.co.uk/ ==================================================================== Posted by maggie - 2008/07/31 11:23 If only they were all as good as you Milo ! Are you divorce trained super IFAs identifiable on the "unbiased" website ? Should you have a separate website? Are there IFA firms with divorce finance trained solicitors yet? How do we find divorce savvy IFAs ? Thank you for all your help. ==================================================================== Posted by Peter@BDM - 2008/07/31 12:10 Maggie/Milo I would like to add a few words of caution here. From what I have seen of Milo’s contribution on Wiki, he is one of the good guys. Not only does he clearly have the appropriate expertise, and the qualifications to prove it, but also his personal conduct is exemplary. It is very sad, but the same cannot be said of all people who practice the same profession. My advice is that you should regard IFAs the same as any other professional and not assume that because they have the right qualifications you would be happy working with them. We have contact with many IFAs, and have reasonably strong associations with some, but by no means all. In my view, one of the most important questions we ask ourselves is whether we would refer our best friends to an individual or firm, this is a more challenging question than you might suppose. As it happens, we do not currently have any business association with Milo or his firm, but from what we have seen, he would certainly pass our simple test. It seems to me that Milo is one of the “good guys”. It would be dangerous to assume that all IFAs are as good. "Divorce savvy" does not equal "divorce good". That is why personal recommendation and experience is invaluable. ==================================================================== Posted by Milo - 2008/07/31 12:21 In terms of implementing a pension credit you can use the unbiased site to search IFAs with a Pension Qualification, then click Level B to get those IFAs who are qualified and authorised by the Financial Services Authority as Pensions Specialists. Any Pension Specialist really ought to give you sound advice about implementing a sharing order. With regards to giving advice during the process, then Resolution Accredited Divorce Specialist IFAs are not only Pension Specialists anyway but we are particularly well suited, trained and qualified for helping you plan the finances during and after the divorce. We can; help you make informed decisions about the best way to share assets, explain the advantages and disadvantages of putting sharing orders on different pensions, help assess the relative merits of offsetting, pension sharing, and in rare circumstances earmarking, taking into account your personal circumstances, aspirations and existing pension arrangements, advise whether additional pension contributions might help to equalise pensions rather than just losing value through applying a sharing order, explain how your health might affect the relative value of a pension sharing order, act as a Financial Neutral if you are having a collaborative divorce, help you plan your finances after the dust has settled, make sure you're getting a fair deal etc. At the moment there are around 100 Resolution Accredited Divorce Specialist IFAs but we're unfortunately hard to find. We're not recognisable on the unbiased site and neither can we be found on Resolution's "Find a Member" website even though we are affiliate members. However, if your solicitor is a member of Resolution then they can find the list of IFAs on the Member Only website. Alternatively, when I rang Resolution just now they said that if a member of the public asked them directly for Resolution Accredited Divorce Specialist IFAs in their neighbourhood they would give details (tel. 01689 820272). Edit: I have just read Peter's comment and I agree with everything he says (particularly his kind comments about me! :lol: ). There is no replacement for personal recommendations and qualifications are indeed only a tick in one box. If you cannot get a recommendation, make sure that you ask for an initial meeting without obligation which most IFAs will agree to. In that meeting, keep an open mind, ask for details about remuneration and give yourself some time after the meeting to reflect before making a firm commitment to proceed. If you agree to proceed on a fee basis ask for an estimate in writing before you go ahead. ==================================================================== Posted by maggie - 2008/07/31 13:43 I rang Resolution and they gave me two names for Yorkshire - these are also listed on the Yorkshire collaborative law website http://www.collabfamilylawyorks.co.uk/otherprofs.php Maybe that's where we'll find the ones on other areas? I don't know if all IFAs working under the collaborative law banner are Resolution trained - and they may not all be as good on pension sharing as Milo? Some of the IFAs I saw could transfer quite a lot of my pension credit annually into their account - word of mouth is great but I only know one person who's done pension sharing - me -. I could name 6 IFAs who are useless at divorce - but I might get sued? ==================================================================== Posted by Milo - 2008/07/31 13:56 There are half a dozen names on that list from Yorkshire and I think it's fair to assume that each of those individuals will have passed the Resolution examination as well as being Pension Specialists. Choosing from that list you at least know you are dealing with IFAs who have an interest and some expertise in divorce work. It's a great starting point if you're based in Yorkshire. ====================================================================

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