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An Armed forces pension - an asset not to be ignored

View profile for Darren White
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On the breakdown of a marriage, a primary consideration is usually the parties’ assets.  A great focus is always placed upon the marital home and the asset that often can be forgotten is the pension.  In fact, this can be the most valuable of the assets.

This is particularly true when considering military pensions.   Lawyers will ask for CETVs to be produced for any pensions.  However, for military pensions, the same have hidden benefits and can be considerably more valuable than they initially appear.  To undertake a proper assessment of the same a Pension Actuary will need to be instructed to see exactly what they are worth.

For those serving in the armed forces there are currently 3 schemes depending on when the member joined the armed forces, the 1975 scheme, 2005 scheme and 2015 scheme.   All set different ages when the member can take a full pension.  The latter 2 schemes also allow early departure payments to be taken which the Court can disregard as part of a pension.

The Courts can make three types of Pension Orders:

  • Pension Attachment Orders, where the non-paying party will receive regular income from the pension as the pension grows, once of pensionable age.
  • Pension offsetting, where the value of the pension is offset against another asset so by retaining a pension the individual will receive a smaller share of another asset.
  • Pension Sharing Order. This is the most common Order to be made where the Court splits the pension to allow the paying party to continue to build their own portion of the pension.

With private pensions often the scheme will allow the individual to withdraw the sum to place in a more beneficial scheme, armed forces pensions do not allow this.  Instead a new fund will be set up within the scheme for the person receiving the pension share.

Financial matters can be extremely complex.  At FDR we are on hand to guide you through the process

If you would like further information and how it may affect you then please do not hesitate to contact Darren White on darren.white@fdrlaw.co.uk or ring Darren or another member of our Family team on 01925 230 000.