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Divorce or dissolution of civil partnership - the effect on pension rights

Divorce or dissolution of civil partnership - the effect on pension rights

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 entitlement to pension to his/her former spouse or civil partner. This could be in accordance with an attachment order: sometimes referred to as an "earmarking" order: or under the terms of a "pension sharing" order.

The authority’s pensions administrator can provide pensions information, if so requested, for the court proceedings.

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 FPS 2006). The pension credit rights would remain in FPS 2006 until the pension credit member is eligible to draw them at age 60, or put into immediate payment if he/she has already reached that age.

The pension credit cannot be transferred to another pension arrangement. If death occurs before the pension credit pension comes into payment a death grant of 2.25 times the pension credit pension would be paid. If the pension credit member dies before age 75 and within five years of his/her pension coming into payment, a post-retirement death grant would be paid. There are no survivor pensions attached to a pension credit.