Pension Sharing on Divorce

For most people who are trying to reach a financial settlement in a divorce or civil partnership dissolution, the pension benefits belonging to either or both parties will be amongst their most valuable assets. As a consequence, pension sharing may be considered as an option as part of the financial settlement.

You can direct members to contact us if they have any queries and/or request specific information. Alternatively, you could suggest the member visits the Divorce section within the NHS members area, where they can view our step-by-step guide and FAQs.

Background

Pension Sharing on Divorce was introduced in December 2000 under the powers in the Welfare Reform and Pensions Act 1999. In Scotland, the primary legislation is contained with the Family Law (Scotland) Act 1985, subsequently amended in 2006.

What is its effect?

As part of the divorce process, the assets of a marriage, or civil partnership, are identified and agreement is reached about how these assets, or their cash value, are to be shared and this includes pension rights built up by either, or both, parties.

Please note that we make every effort to ensure pension estimates are accurate but members should be aware that they are estimated figures only.

We can only provide exact figures for retirement benefits when we know the member’s actual final pay and service and an application for retirement benefits has been made.

What happens?

  • A pension sharing agreement is identified as an option (usually when one or both of the parties concerned has taken advice from a Solicitor).
  • The member downloads CETV application requesting a Cash Equivalent Transfer Value (CETV) of their pension rights in the scheme and sends to SPPA.
  • For cases heard in Scottish courts, SPPA provides a CETV for the period of marriage, or civil partnership. Where the divorce is to be heard in an English Court, the whole of the pension rights are taken into consideration.
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