Pensions & Divorce

Pensions and Divorce can be a complex area and finding the most appropriate solution is a challenging and essential part of the separation process. Since 1997 it has been mandatory for Solicitors to include pension arrangements in the matrimonial assets, which are to be divided during a divorce. During the ancillary relief (Ancillary relief is concerned with the finances on divorce)  proceedings they must therefore: -

  • Identify and include any pension arrangements in the divorce settlement
  • Obtain a suitable valuation of the pension assets
  • Either offset, share or attach the pension assets as most suitable for their client
  • Implement any pension orders

Despite recent changes in legislation, it continues to pose difficulties in finding a solution to disputes over pension rights. As pension assets have grown in value, the mechanism for dealing with a divorcing couple’s pension and non-pension assets has become more significant.

Kingfurness & Associates can assist Solicitors and their clients when considering pension assets as part of ancillary relief. It is important to have a clear understanding of the nature and value of the pension assets of the ex spouse, as well as any associated risks. This should help you make a better informed decision when aiming to achieve a reasonable split of matrimonial assets.

Kingfurness & Associates Ltd work closely with industry Professionals and have established a long standing relationship with a number of reputable individuals. In particular Kingfurness & Associates Ltd work closely with ‘Mathieson Consulting Limited’ who provide highly specialised services to Matrimonial Lawyers, Barristers and others in the field of Pensions and Divorce. This service includes forensic analysis of benefit disclosure and advising both the instructing Solicitor and Counsel upon the options available. Additionally this also includes acting as an expert witness.

On receipt of the pension information, as stated on ‘Form E’, (To be completed by your Solicitor)  we can provide an initial investigation, identifying any inconsistencies in the data and highlighting any further information that will be required in order to produce a fair assessment. It is at this stage that we will consider the extent of the work to be completed and provide an estimation of the hours required to produce our full report.


Once formal instructions have been received, assuming we have all the required information from the scheme administrators or product providers, we will commence work to provide a full report detailing our recommendation with regards the following:

Advice on how an equality of income can be achieved – in recent cases, mainly those involving substantial pension assets, settlement has not been a simple split of the ‘Cash Equivalent Transfer Value (CETV)’ however, on the basis of ‘equality of income’.

It is important that the most suitable course of action is identified, Earmarking, Offset or Pension Sharing. The report will detail the advantages and disadvantages of the various methods and should assist the Solicitor and their client in their understanding of each process.

Financial Services

If a Pension Sharing Order is to be implemented, it is likely you will require advice on whether to retain benefits in the existing arrangement (if permitted) or elect for a transfer of benefits to be made. If a transfer is the only possibility, as is often the case, then we can assist with regards to the various options available.

The process involves researching the market in order to determine a suitable receiving scheme in respect of a transfer payment, providing suitable investment recommendations and administering the payment of transfer values between arrangements.