On divorce, the Court is required to take all of the matrimonial assets into account and this includes pensions. The Court can consider pension funds currently being paid into, plans that have been frozen and plans that are currently paying an income.

There are various options available for dealing with a pension and it will depend upon the particular circumstances of each case.


Offsetting has been a popular way of dealing with the pension issue. Offsetting involves a spouse receiving money or assets in order to compensate for loss of pension rights. This is useful where there are sufficient funds or assets available to compensate. This will allow the person who receives the setoff to use the money or assets as he/she pleases at the time of the divorce. The pension member will retain their pension fund intact.
Another popular method of dealing with pension assets is a pension sharing order. This solution enables the Court to split a pension at the time of divorce so that the spouse without a pension can either become a member of the member’s scheme in their own right (internal transfer) or alternatively, take a transfer of a designated amount into their own pension scheme (external transfer).


Pensions are a complex area and the pension assets can be substantial. We regularly advise in cases involving Armed Forces, Police, NHS and private pensions. We have advised people with modest pension funds to those who have pension funds worth millions of pounds.


Our family specialists will consider all of the options with you in order to meet your needs.

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