Divorce and dissolution
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I get a pension value for divorce or dissolution purposes?
How much do I have to pay?
How do I get a form?
What happens to my benefits if I get divorced or my civil partnership is dissolved?
What do I need to do now?
What is offsetting pension rights?
What is a Pension Sharing Order?
What if I remarry or enter into a new civil partnership?
If you get divorced, or your civil partnership is dissolved, you may have to consider what happens to your LGPS benefits. You may wish to get legal advice from your solicitor on how to deal with your LGPS benefits as part of any divorce/dissolution settlement. You may require information such as an estimate of the cash equivalent value (CEV) of your pension rights if you are going through a divorce or dissolution. You can request one current CEV of your pension rights per year free of charge. A current CEV will cover your total benefits and won’t be proportioned over your period of marriage. If you are a deferred member you can obtain a CEV from the My Pension Online service which you can save and print. A current CEV can’t be used for pension sharing purposes. If you are a pensioner, we can’t give you a current CEV.
- If you are an active or deferred member with Lothian Pension Fund the fee is £113.00 plus VAT.
- If you are in receipt of a pension from Lothian Pension Fund the fee is £303.00 plus VAT.
Divorce or annulment proceedings must have begun under one of the following:
- Part 11 of the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 or Part 111 of the Matrimonial and Family Proceedings Act 1984 (England and Wales powers in relation to domestic and overseas divorce, etc.), or
- Part 111 of the Matrimonial Causes (Northern Ireland) Order 1978, or Part 1V of the Matrimonial and Family Proceedings (Northern Ireland) Order 1989 (corresponding Northern Ireland powers), or
- the Family Law (Scotland) Act 1985 or Part 1V of the Matrimonial and Family Proceedings Act 1984 (corresponding Scottish powers).
My Pension Online service or completing and returning a nomination form.
You will need specific information about your LGPS benefits as part of the proceedings including an estimate of the cash equivalent value (CEV) of your pension rights. If you wish to request a CEV download and complete the 'information for divorce or dissolution consent form above. A value will be provided at both the whole CEV figure as well as the apportioned for the period of the divorce or civil partnership. Although you are entitled to a free CEV estimate each year, this is calcuated to the date of request and can't be backdated to a divorce/separation date. Therefore, to obtain a CEV for a particular date there is a charge shown above. It can take up to three months for a CEV to be prepared.
The Court may offset the value of your pension rights against your other assets in the divorce/dissolution settlement or it may issue a Pension Sharing Order (qualifying agreements in Scotland) or an Earmarking Order against your pension.
If the Court issues a Pension Sharing Order, or your benefits are subject to a qualifying agreement in Scotland, part of your benefits are transferred into your ex-spouse or ex-civil partner's possession. They will keep that share even if your or their circumstances change. Your ex-spouse or ex-civil partner will hold those benefits in his / her own right. They can be left in the Scheme and are normally paid from their Normal Pension Age or can be transferred to another qualifying pension scheme. Your pension and any lump sum will be reduced by the amount allocated to your ex-spouse or ex-civil partner at the point of divorce/dissolution.
The reduction to your benefits is known as a Pension Debit. The amount of the Pension Debit will be increased in line with the rise in the Consumer Prices Index between the date it was first calculated and the date your benefits are paid. When your benefits are paid, the revalued amount of the Pension Debit will be deducted from your retirement benefits. You may be able top up your benefits by buying extra Scheme pension, paying Additional Voluntary Contributions (AVCs) or Free Standing AVCs (FSAVCs), or by paying into a concurrent personal pension plan or stakeholder pension scheme in order to make up for the benefits 'lost' following a Pension Share.