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Pensions on divorce

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How should pensions be divided on divorce?

When and how pensions are divided on divorce depends on the circumstances of you and your family. If your marriage has been short and both of you are in your twenties or thirties, then your pensions may not need to be divided formally at all, although their value may still be taken into account in other ways.

If you and your partner are in your 50s, pensions are likely to play a far more central part in your negotiations or the decision a court has to make. It will be necessary to look at them within the overall context of your family finances and you will need to think about certain key questions:

  • What is the earliest date that you can take the pension (this varies generally between big company final salary schemes and private pensions) and when are you actually likely to want to retire?
  • What capital sum or income will each of you be able to get from your existing pensions in retirement?
  • What expenditure do you think you will have when you retire, ie, how much do you think you will need?
  • Are there other savings that can be used to meet your retirement needs?

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