Offsetting can be used to compensate one spouse for the loss of pension rights. The pension finances should be looked at up to the date of separation. It may be the case that a clean break can be effected, for example, by one spouse retaining items of matrimonial property in return for relinquishing a claim on the other’s pension or some of it. Generally the matrimonial property will be split equally between the parties on divorce.
Therefore the one half share of the property that one party would normally be entitled to can, in some cases, be given up, to offset their pension rights.
A pension may also be shared by agreement or by court order. The pension provider can be directed to remove part of one of the spouse’s pension rights and assign them over to the other spouse, which will entitle that spouse to their own pension rights separate from their spouse.
The primary benefit of obtaining a pension sharing order is that you have your own pension on retirement. It therefore does not matter when your husband or wife retires or dies. Should you decide to remarry after the divorce this will not impact upon your pension sharing order. You can also decide who should be assigned your pension rights on your death.
Another benefit is that it allows a settlement to be achieved between yourself and your spouse or civil partner where there are insufficient other assets to offset against the pension value or where it is necessary for both to retain liquid assets but one party has substantial pension rights.
If you require any further information on your entitlement to a share of your spouse’s pension on separation or divorce do not hesitate to contact us and we will be happy to assist you.
If you have a query or wish for some advice please make an enquiry or contact one of our offices directly and a member of our team will be happy to assist.