A guide to pensions and divorce

Pension divorce Swindon IFA

Divorce can be an emotionally challenging time, and it’s not surprising that many people overlook the financial implications that it can have on their future. One important aspect that often goes unnoticed is pensions. In this guide, we will explore what you need to know about pensions and divorce, and the options you have to consider.

Why pensions matter in a divorce

Pensions are an important asset that is often overlooked in divorce settlements. In many cases, they can be one of the most valuable assets a couple holds, especially for those who have been contributing to their pension over a long period of time. It is essential to remember that the assets you acquired during your marriage, including your pension, will likely be subject to division during a divorce.

Options to consider

There are different options to consider when it comes to dividing your pension in a divorce. It’s important to seek legal advice to understand which option is most suitable for you.

Pension sharing order

A pension sharing order is a court order that divides the value of the pension between the two parties. This is a clean break option, which means that each party will receive a share of the pension in their own right. This can be beneficial for those who want to have control over their own pension and don’t want to rely on their former partner’s pension.

Pension offsetting

Pension offsetting is when the value of the pension is offset against other assets, such as the family home or savings. This means that one party keeps the pension, and the other receives a larger share of the other assets. This can be a good option for those who want to maintain the value of their pension and are willing to trade it for other assets.

Pension attachment order

A pension attachment order is when the court orders that a percentage of the pension is paid to the former spouse when the pension comes into payment. This option can be beneficial for those who want to ensure they receive a share of their former partner’s pension, but it also means that they are reliant on their former partner’s pension and any changes that may happen in the future.

Things to consider

Before deciding on which option to take, there are several things to consider. Firstly, it’s important to have a clear understanding of the value of your pension. This will help you to negotiate a fair settlement that reflects the value of the assets involved.

Secondly, you should consider the tax implications of your pension. For example, if you receive a lump sum payment from your pension, this could result in a large tax bill. It’s important to seek professional advice on this matter to avoid any unexpected tax liabilities.

Finally, you should consider the impact that the divorce will have on your retirement plans. You may need to adjust your retirement plans if you are receiving a smaller share of the pension or if you are losing access to your former partner’s pension.


Divorce can be a difficult and stressful time, and it’s essential to consider all aspects of your financial situation, including your pension. By seeking legal and financial advice, you can ensure that you make informed decisions and reach a fair settlement that will enable you to move forward with your life. Remember to consider all the options available to you and to be realistic about the impact that the divorce will have on your retirement plans.

We can work with your legal firm at this challenging time to ensure you get a fair outcome. Our head office is based in Swindon, although we have financial advisers across the country and satellite offices in Brighton, Manchester, Bristol, Portsmouth, Cardiff, Swansea, Cheltenham & Gloucester, Reading and Oxford.

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