Is the pension you accumulated before you married considered in a financial split?

Discussion in 'Divorce FAQ - Frequently Asked Question' started by KirstyB, Sep 9, 2013.

  1. KirstyB

    KirstyB Administrator

    Feb 8, 2013
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    Generally, pension assets accrued before marriage will not be counted.

    If we look at the example here this is usually the case when both parties have assets to divide, so in example say a Husband had accrued a pension worth £200,000 over twenty years and he has been married for 10 of those years.

    The wife has a pension of £20,000 all accrued during the marriage. It would be split so both parties would receive an equal share of assets accrued during the marriage.

    The Husband has accrued £100,000 during this time so the wife would receive to make things even (as the total amount accrued is £120,000) £40,000 of the husbands pension or 20% and her own £20,000 making her total share £60,000 each . The rules on pensions are complex but generally the rule is that the pension accrued during the marriage will be split and quite often the wife will not have a pension if she has been at home or in lower paid employment.

    The husband would be expected to obtain a CETV but this would be for the whole pension accrual time.

    Therefore in this instance if there was a property if £100,000 in joint names and the husband accrued a pension over 20 years with a CETV of £200,000 but had only been married 10 years, the CETV would be used but divided by half to give the percentage of the CETV to be used in the calculation, therefore in this instance 50% would be £100,000.

    It may be that the couple will decide for the wife to keep the family home and the husband keep his pension so they both receive £100,000 of assets. There may be an issue if the pension is the ONLY asset and the court may then decide to take into account pension accrued before marriage but this is rare. Generally speaking the pension accrued before the marriage is not considered but this does mean that if you have a pension and you want to split this you will need to work out the CETV when it has been divided to give the % you would use for the pension sharing. i.e. CETV = £120,000 years married =5 and pension accrued over 15, you would divide the CETV by the years accrued and then times by years married to give a % of how much roughly you would give which would be about £40,000 or 33.33 %.

    This may seem complicated and it may be useful to seek legal advice to see in your circumstances what your spouse may be entitled to. There are no hard and fast rules but it most cases the spouse with the pension will get to keep the pension accrued before marriage.
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