Getting a pension sharing order in the UK

Agreeing to a pension sharing order as part of your divorce proceedings can often cause difficulty, even when you are on good terms. We know how important it is to set out legally binding agreements about pensions, and we are here to make sorting out your pension sharing order as simple as possible.

Also known as a PSO, a pension sharing order is a court issued order that states exactly how your pensions will be divided after you divorce.

We will be by your side throughout your divorce proceedings and can help you get your pension sharing order issued swiftly, often without you having to appear in court.

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The pension sharing process

Because your pension is an asset, just like savings and property, you must include it when calculating your total worth.

During divorce negotiations you must both obtain a valuation of your partner’s pension that is no older than 12 months.

When working out the value of each pension fund, all funds are considered. This means that even if your pension was built up prior to your marriage or civil partnership, it will still be included in the pension share calculation.

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How pension shares are calculated

Exactly what percentage of the transfer value of pension you or your ex-spouse is entitled to is decided by the court. This is based on the total value calculated the day before the pension sharing order takes effect.

If you require a pension sharing order you must involve the court. Pension providers cannot transfer or divide any part of a pension without this kind of court order.

This does not mean that you are going to argue over your pension sharing order. We often help couples come to an agreement on good terms in court.

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Is a pension sharing order right for you?

There could be instances where an alternative to a PSO would be more suitable, so do consider all your options.

Only couples who are separating from a marriage or civil partnership can opt for a pension sharing order. Unmarried and cohabitating couples don’t have this ability.

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Offsetting a pension

If a pension sharing order isn’t right for you, the main alternative is called offsetting.

With this option you can offset the value of the pension against other assets, such as the value of the family home. It is a relatively straight-forward option and helps you achieve a ‘clean break’, the same way a pension sharing order would.

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Receiving pension from your ex

You don’t need to be a member of the same pension scheme as your ex-partner to receive a share of their pension.

If you are receiving your pension share on another scheme, under your own name, this would be referred to as an external transfer. If you are a member of your ex-partner’s scheme, it’s called an internal transfer.

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Pension transfer timeframes

Even though you may have already calculated and agreed on the pension sharing order, it won’t come into effect until the decree absolute is granted and your divorce is finalised.

After receiving confirmation that you are divorced the pension provider has four months to transfer the funds into the correct account.

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The importance of assessing your pension values

In many divorce cases a pension value is overlooked or underestimated, leaving one party worse off.

Even though pension sharing is not compulsory, all options should be considered and all calculations should be accurate.

Our expert family law solicitors can help you assess which options are best for you and how much pension you would be entitled to.

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Divorce solicitors Manchester

At AWH Solicitors we understand that your divorce is emotionally and practically challenging.

Because of this, our solicitors will always focus on providing you with their expert advice and guidance in a sympathetic and caring manner. In this way we hope to support you through this complicated time with as little stress as possible.

There are many aspects to divorce that have long-term effects on the lives of the people involved. Handling all the legal proceedings with care and competence from the outset will help you avoid unpleasant court battles, tied up finances and even future claims on your assets from your ex-partner. Our expert solicitors are here to make sure everything is drawn to a close neatly. If you’d like some advice from our team about your finances after your divorce, just get in touch or request a call back.

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