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Firefighters 1992 scheme – Active
Divorce or dissolution of civil partnership the effect on pension rights

Divorce guide (pdf 82KB)

In the event of divorce, dissolution of civil partnership, annulment or judicial separation, a court may order a pension scheme to pay all or part of a member's benefit entitlement to his/her former spouse or civil partner. This would be in accordance with an "earmarking" order or a "pension sharing" order.

An earmarking order could apply to all or part of your retirement pension, potential lump sum, or possibly your death grant. If you have already retired, the order may require immediate payment of pension to your former spouse or civil partner. If you are an active or deferred member the order would not have effect until the benefits become payable.

A pension sharing order would have immediate effect. The court would instruct that a percentage of the value of your benefits should be deducted to provide "pension credit rights" for your former spouse or civil partner (who becomes a “pension credit member” of the FPS1992). The pension credit rights would remain in the FPS1992 until he/she is eligible to draw them at age 60 (or put into immediate payment if he/she has already reached that age). They cannot be transferred to another pension arrangement. If a pension credit member dies before age 60, a death grant would be paid to his/her personal representatives. There are no survivor benefits attached to a pension credit.

The court will normally expect both parties to provide information about the current and prospective value of their pension rights together with the rules of the pension scheme(s) in which those rights are held. The authority's pensions administrator can provide this for you and can give you general information on the impact that divorce/dissolution may have on pension rights.