According to recent research by Scottish Widows, seven in ten couples do not even consider pensions in Divorce proceedings leaving women possibly short changed by £5bn every year.
It was shown that when it comes to the issue of pensions, couples are less prepared to argue over this issue than other assets such as a jointly owned house or combined savings.
There appears to be confusion over pensions and what can be obtained which may explain why so few couples consider them upon agreeing (or otherwise!) to Divorce.
Pensions can be dealt with in a number of different ways:
Disclosure needs to take place first to establish what pensions they have and how much they are worth. Fairness is the overall objective, but possible outcomes could be:
- Off-setting. This is when one party keeps their pension and as a consequence the other party gets more of the assets.
- An actual Pension Sharing Order. This gives a party a percentage of the other party’s pension.
Generally speaking for whatever reason women seem less prepared for retirement than men. Research has shown that even if pensions are dealt with within Divorce proceedings, women are possibly still missing out. 16% of women on Divorce lost access to any pension pot and 10% were left completely reliant upon the State Pension (which for many will not maintain any semblance of the lifestyle they are used to).
At Wilson Browne we have an experienced and dedicated team of family lawyers who can give advice on Pension Sharing Orders and when they might be available so that you do not lose out on Divorce in respect of this potentially valuable asset.