Can I get my partner’s pension in a divorce settlement?

Often the answer to this is yes.  Pensions are normally included as assets in divorce financial settlements, and they are often the biggest asset in terms of value.  It is important that you get a good understanding of your pension entitlement and the impact of any divorce settlement upon your pension benefits. There is no automatic principle of division, it may depend on how long you have been together compared to how long you have been in the pension scheme.  It may depend on whether or not one of you has been out of the working environment bringing up a family and therefore not able to contribute to their own pension. The way the matrimonial pot, including pensions, is divided between you and your partner would be decided either by agreement between the two of you or by the courts and would be based on factors such as the financial needs of each party as well as the length of the marriage.

There are a variety of ways that pensions can be death with, a common way is pension sharing whereby pension funds are divided so that both parties have a separate fund in their respective names.  Sometimes there is pension offsetting which can involve one party transferring a proportionally larger share of their liquid assets to one party in return for their pension being left alone.  Pensions are a highly complex area of law and frequently advice from actuaries must be taken.