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Divorce & pensions

(22 Posts)
user1486133359 Fri 03-Feb-17 14:54:20

Does anyone know if a man is entitled to a wife's pension. I've separated from my husband and have had to sell the family home and we have split the profits and living separate at last. I want to start divorce proceedings but i'm unsure about pension.

roundandround4x4 Fri 03-Feb-17 15:54:58

As part of a divorce any pension pot is regarded as a marital asset to be split between the parties, regardless of whether it is the wife's or husband's. Your husband can agree not to make a claim against your pension, but depending on the monetary value of your pension, the pension can be the largest asset.

PebbleInTheMoonlight Fri 03-Feb-17 16:08:03


My friend offered a more immediately accessible financial asset against her pension when she divorced and her ex accepted.

How to proceed depends on the break up. Acrimonious, then speak to your lawyer to see if there is a way to protect it.

Reasonable then just ask him to agree it's your pension built on your personal contributions.

Remaining married though means he's automatically a beneficiary if you pass away without a properly drafted will.

Fidelia Fri 03-Feb-17 16:22:26

Yes, it's part of the marital pot to be split between you. You may be able to argue that he should only get 50%of the years you were together (incl any cohabitation) and then offset it against, say, house capital, at a discounted rate(because cash now is worth more than an unrealised future pension).

seventhgonickname Wed 08-Feb-17 00:08:46

I'm caught with this as I always paid into my pension as I thought it would be for both of ours but found he had stopped his.On paper the pension looks a lot(cash value)although it won't pay out that much when due.Sadly it's the cash value that counts and as we're splitting and I am not far (6 years) from being able to claim my pension he can benefit from my being prudent though he dropped his.He is trying to claim all marital home,all his savings,his cash pension contributions and some of my pension and has just got a substantial inheritance recently.I am living in an expensive (cheapest suitable as need to be near dds school so I can work)rental with DD,my savings used to buy beds etc as ex would not let me take much.Feels so unfair.

NotJanine Wed 08-Feb-17 14:22:35

As a starting point you need to list all assets you both have - equity in house, savings, any expensive belongings (eg car), pension funds

Ehsan335 Sat 11-Feb-17 14:18:00

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

MrsBertBibby Sat 11-Feb-17 17:33:33

I think mumsnet charge for advertising, Mr Kabir.

EnormousTiger Sun 12-Feb-17 15:54:59

So you split the house proceeds before you had a court sealed final financial consent order? Did a solicitor advise you to do that? It seems very unwise.

Yes pensions of both of you are marital assets. Are you 55 yet? If so you can cash your pension in pay tax on 75% of it and have a cash asset. You said you were just 5 years from the pension paying out so you probably have reached 55. I am not saying it is wise to take the cash at 55 as you will just then be left with the state pension and/or working into retirement age but it's one possibility.

lilli30101968 Mon 13-Feb-17 22:55:02

I am so confuse about this pension asset i want to proceed a divorce , reg pension i have been contributing only 2 years but him for a while . how does it work ? do we split the pension money now or later when we both retired . thx

MrsBertBibby Tue 14-Feb-17 07:29:50

A pension sharing order works by scooping a chunk of the pension asset out of one party's pension, and putting it into the other party's pension, either an existing one, or a new one set up specially. It does this at the point of divorce, ie the date of decree Absolute, or the date of the financial order if later, assuming the pension provider gets all the necessary information and fees.

EnormousTiger Tue 14-Feb-17 07:36:28

MrsB is right.
If you have paid in for 2 years then your pension will be worth just about nothing.

However if either of you is 55 you can take all the pension out as cash now once tax is taken off 75% of it (if you want to - I just did but for most people it's not wise as it means nothing but the state pension in old age).

Assuming neither of you will take the whole pot at 55 as cash, then the normal pension sharing order on divorce can cost about £1k to have a valuation done and for some people that is most of their pension so do go into the costs of it before proceeding. In my own divorce my pension and my husbands as we both worked full time we decided were worth similar amounts so our court financial order just says we each keep our own pensions which iof course made sense as they were the same. that is not the case for many couples. In fact often the pension is the main asset where there is no house owned asnd too many people walk away from the pension. I think the gist in terms of valuation of it is that it is worth about a fifth of its cash value when working out value on divorce but I asked your ages because you were close to retirement and that might change things a bit than being say 20 years off age 55 or whatever.

lilli30101968 Tue 14-Feb-17 21:40:49

I am 48 , he is 45 so we are far from retirement but as i said his been contributing on his pension more than me been working for companies who offer pension contribution. Can we have the option to keep our pension separetly and just sold the house ? i dont see him sharing his pension

NotJanine Wed 15-Feb-17 08:22:18

Lilli - you don't have to share the pension, but should take it into account when sharing the other assets. eg you get a bigger share of the house proceeds

NotJanine Wed 15-Feb-17 08:25:45

But ideally you should get financial/legal advice

EnormousTiger Wed 15-Feb-17 17:12:39

NotJ is right. You just need to do a few fairly simple sums - equity in the house, savings and investments and any debts you both have and mortgatge to work out the net assets. Then separately look at the value of his pension fund - every year his pension company will send him a statement which in fact you probably see each year already - and that will say what pension he will get when he is 65 or whatever his retirement age is. That statement will also tell you the value of the sum of money in the pension - that is not cash but if you count it as say worth a fifth of the cash value roughly then may be you get more of the net assets you both have now and in return he keeps his pension.

On the other hand if he doesn't earn much and did not put a lot in the pension his and his employers; contributions may not be very much. you just need the figures to find out if we are talking about something valuable or not.

MrsBertBibby Wed 15-Feb-17 18:42:22

Why one fifth, Tiger?

whateverloser Thu 16-Feb-17 13:35:49

I'm interested in this- sorry for hi-jacking. I am 43 and will eventually have a good pension; exdh will have a very small pension. He pays no maintenance for our 5 dc ( CMS involved; been to court; complete rogue) and has left me to pay debts that he ran up ( without my knowledge). Would a court take all of this into account when working out a settlement? There are no other assets.

EnormousTiger Thu 16-Feb-17 13:41:39

whatever, I think in England, not Scotland, divorce finances are worked out at date of divorce/financial consent order - not at date of parting. So at the point you resolve your divorce finances (sounds like you have not done so yet) the court look at everyone's debts and assets I am afraid, even if you have paid some of his debts off. (My ex also pays nothing to the chidlren although in our case we both in our court financial consent order agreed to keep our pensions as they were both worth the same).

So yes there is a risk he might claim it. What you need is to agree with him an order over divorce finances which the court stamps - a consent order which will state you each keep your pensions, set out perhaps that you paid XYZ debts of his, that he pays XYZ for the children - say a nominal amount at least for now or the amount the CMS says and if you own a house - either of you - who has a share of that. If he will not agree a consent order then a divorce court will decide the finances.

EnormousTiger Thu 16-Feb-17 13:42:59

MrsB, that was just a rough figure to work on. A lot of people think a £100k pension fund means £100,000 of cash and that if husband keeps the £100k fund the wife should get an extra £100k of non pension assets. i was just trying to emphasise it does not work with that. In fact £100k today will buy you about £3000 annual pension and so bad are annuity deals for many that I just took all my pension monies in cash at age 55.

whateverloser Thu 16-Feb-17 14:53:12

He won't sign anything that could possibly be beneficial to me unfortunately. There is a history of dv and extremely controlling behaviour and my financial security is the only hold he still has over me. Is a court likely to be more understanding towards the resident parent, rather than the absent one, where there is no financial support being paid for the dc? Would they look at the cost of looking after them, as well as the amount I have paid on debts? I don't think he should benefit from me financially, when he has left me in such a financially precarious situation ( homeless and using food banks in the early days). I don't think I am being unreasonable.

EnormousTiger Thu 16-Feb-17 17:59:21

Sometime divorce finance hearings will set a lump sum you owe your husband on a divorce split against sums he owes over a long period for child maintenance (if he is liable to pay much of that depends on his income). You are right that all the time the courts will look at the needs of the children with whom the resident parent lives and their need to be housed. Divorce law can be pretty unreasonable though. My ex got a lot of money from me and pays nothing.

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