If you get divorced, or dissolve a civil partnership, the Court will take your pension into account when determining any settlement.
If you live in England, Wales or Northern Ireland, it is the value of your pension benefits at the date of divorce or dissolution of the civil partnership that is counted.
If you live in Scotland, it’s the increase in the value of your pension over the course of the marriage or civil partnership that is counted. This means that pensions should be valued at the date of separation.
When you go to Court, both parties can decide how pension benefits are split; there are broadly three options:
- Pension sharing, which means the pension is split at the time of divorce or dissolution so that both parties receive a separate pension pot. In the case of the Scheme, the member’s pot will remain in the Scheme, and the ex-spouse or partner can either have their pension pot transferred to another pension arrangement or they can have their own pension set up in the Scheme.
- Pension offsetting, which both parties keep their own pension benefits and adjust their share of other assets (such as house, car etc.) to take account of the value of the pension benefits.
- Pensions earmarking, which means that when the member starts to draw their pension, part of that pension will be paid to the ex-spouse.