Pension Sharing Order
In this section I will look at what a pension sharing order is. Click here to learn more about pension sharing.
What is a pension sharing order?
A Pension Sharing Order also known as a pension sharing annex is a court order made in England and Wales to give a physical proportion of a spouse’s pension rights to the other.
It sets out exactly what is to happen in relation to pension sharing usually following negotiation or direction from the court and is known as form P1.
What happens after a pension sharing order is granted?
Unfortunately, the answer to this is sometimes nothing. A pension sharing order will not necessarily come into force when the Decree Absolute has been granted. Note that a pension sharing order cannot take effect until 28 days after the Decree Absolute has been made.
The court is obliged to send the pension sharing order to the pension scheme involved and the process of pension sharing implementation begins.
Implementing a pension sharing order
The pension scheme then has four months to implement the pension sharing order from the date it receives all of the paperwork. Each scheme and trustee will have different documentary requirements and this can often be overlooked and cause major delays. These requirements may differ depending on what option is being used – the internal transfer or the external transfer so it is prudent to check with the scheme involved in advance of negotiations.
Typically, the documentation needed to ensure the implementation of the pension sharing order occurs in a timely manner is as follows:
- Pension Sharing Order.
- Decree Absolute.
- Consent Order.
- Confirmation of destination of pension sharing order (if an external transfer – confirmation that the new scheme is prepared to accept the transfer).
- Ceding scheme indemnity form.
- Birth certificates.
- Implementation fee paid.
In my experience, some of this paperwork is often missing and the implementation period will not start until it has been received.
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