Pensions can be very valuable assets, and need to be carefully considered in any financial settlement. The first thing to do is to get a valuation for the savings or rights you and your spouse or civil partner each have in any pension schemes from the scheme administrator. These may be schemes you have through work, personal pension schemes and any additional state pension (part of the state pension scheme) – see the pensions and retirement section of our website for more information.
The court will decide how to deal with any pensions in the context of the overall financial settlement. There are three ways they can do this:
If a large amount of your pension fund was built up before the marriage, and everyone's needs can be met without it, a court will sometimes take that into account in any final order.
Changes to someone's pension cannot take place simply by agreement between you and your spouse or civil partner. Only a court can order changes to someone's pension, but it will be limited by what the rules of each scheme say. You and your solicitor, and possibly with the help of a independent financial adviser (IFA), will need to check the rules of your pension scheme before finalising any settlement with your spouse or civil partner.
Pensions are a complex area, and you may wish to take advice from a pension's specialist IFA, in conjunction with your solicitor, to understand what options are available to you and what the implications would be Useful links.
Most people are entitled to a basic state pension, but you may also have an additional state pension.Find out more about types of pensions
The court can deal with pensions in one of three ways: pension sharing; pension off-setting; and pension attachment.Find out more about how to deal with a pension