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This page is designed to help you understand what happens to your pension and benefits if you were to go through the divorce or dissolution process.

What happens to my benefits?

What happens to your pension and benefits depends on what you and your ex-spouse or ex-civil partner agree to in Court including:

  • offsetting your pension
  • pension sharing order
  • earmarking order
Offsetting your pension

The Court may decide to offset the value of your pension against the value of your other financial assets in your divorce/dissolution settlement. For example, you could keep your pension, and instead your ex-spouse or ex-civil partner could get a larger share of your house.

Pension sharing order

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 to your ex-spouse or ex-civil partner. The transferred benefits, known as a ‘pension debit’, can either be kept in the Scheme or transferred to another pension arrangement, depending on what your ex-spouse or ex-civil partner decides.

The pension and lump sum that you'll receive at retirement will then be reduced by the amount that has been transferred to your ex-spouse or ex-civil partner at the point of divorce/dissolution, taking into account any rise in the cost of living.  You may be able to make up for the loss of your benefits by paying additional contributions through:

  • additional pension contributions (APCs)
  • in-house additional voluntary contributions (IHAVCs)
  • paying into a personal or stakeholder pension scheme
Earmarking order

Should the court issue an earmarking order, your pension benefits in the Scheme still belong to you, but some will be ‘earmarked’ for your ex-spouse or ex-civil partner when it comes to retirement, reducing the amount paid to you.

Your ex-spouse or ex-civil partner could receive one or a combination of the following:

  • your Scheme pension
  • any lump sum payable to you
  • any lump sum payable on your death

If you decide to transfer your pension benefits from the Scheme you must ensure that the new scheme can accept the earmarking order.

Death benefits

Your ex-spouse or ex-civil partner will cease to be entitled to a spouse’s or civil partner’s pension should you die before them.  An eligible child’s pension will remain unaffected by divorce or dissolution.

If you have nominated your ex-spouse or ex-civil partner to receive any lump sum death grant payable on your Expression of Wish form, it will remain in place.  Please download the Expression of Wish form and send it to Capita, should your wishes change. If your benefits are subject to an earmarking order your ex-spouse or ex-civil partner may still be entitled to any death benefit payable if it has been specified in the order.

What should i do?

You will require specific information about your Scheme pension benefits as part of the proceedings.  You, or your solicitor should contact Capita for any information in relation to your pension benefits, including a cash equivalent transfer value (CETV) or cash equivalent value (CEV) and the Scheme’s list of charges.  The Court will want to use the CETV or CEV in your settlement.

All correspondence received by Capita in connection with divorce or dissolution proceedings will be acknowledged in writing.  If you don’t receive an acknowledgement please contact Capita ensure that your correspondence has been received.