Sharing Pensions is a website focused on annuity rates, annuity quotes, pensions and retirement planning including long term care annuities. In terms of value the matrimonial home is usually the largest family asset, however, where there is a long marriage or one or both of the parties is a high earner the value of retirement benefits can be substantial.
In most cases of divorce, nullity or judicial separation of marriage the court will have to satisfy the needs of the parties from limited resources. Where the assets are substantial the principles established in White v White (2000) where the needs of both parties are easily satisfied from a small proportion of the assets, the courts should first consider an equal division of the assets and depart from this conclusion only if there is good reason for doing so.
These principles can also be applied during ancillary relief proceedings relating to pension rights between the parties as shown in the step by step guide. Although the courts may start with a 50/50 division of the retirement benefits, other factors set out in section 25 of the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 (MCA 73) may influence the court to decide on a different division.
There are many types of pensions that can be divided on divorce and the most complex are defined benefit schemes. A defined contribution scheme will be easier to divide between the parties. Both the state basic pension and state earnings related pension scheme (SERPS) can also be divided on divorce although administratively this could take considerably longer to achieve than the other pension arrangements.