Posted August 25th, 2012
Question: My husband is in receipt of a war disability pension. Is it possible to have a pension order placed against it?
Answer : Unfortunately you are not able to have a pension sharing order or an attachment order applied against the War Disability Pension. However, there will be main army pension benefits payable and it is possible to have a pension sharing order placed against these benefits. Given the extra income payable via the war disability pension, then with sensible discussion would it be possible to increase the pension sharing order under the main army scheme benefits.
In addition I see no reason why this would not count towards maintenance and a periodic payments order may be made.
Posted January 3rd, 2012
We are experiencing a higher than normal level of calls in respect of these pension schemes, and in particular, the issues regarding drawing benefits early.
The armed forces scheme has taken a welcome stance which is that pension credit members can draw benefits at age 55, rather than age 60 which continues to be the case under the Police Pension Scheme and the Fire Service Pension Scheme. Albeit there is a reduction for early payment!
It is hoped that at some point, all of the schemes will draw into line with each other, however the current guidance appears to be that this is unlikely.
If you are experiencing difficulties with your pension settlement in any of these pension schemes, why not get in touch for a chat on 0800 092 1229 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Posted October 4th, 2010
Whilst the NHS call centre and website are saying it could be up to next April before the new cash equivalent transfer values (CETVs) / Cash Equivalent Of Benefit calculations (CTVs) commence again, I understand that the new CPI factors are now starting to become available for the Public Sector Schemes.
The Fire Service and NHS pension scheme have confirmed receipt and they will be testing their systems over the next two weeks. The other schemes – Local Government Pension Scheme, Police Pension Scheme, Armed Forces- are expected over the coming weeks.
It is hoped that the end of this embargo (see here) will be soon and we can return to normal with requesting public sector pension transfer values.
If this is something that is currently affecting you, please feel free to contact us.
Posted August 6th, 2010
The Coalition Government’s emergency budget announced that public sector pensions will in future link to the consumer prices index (CPI) rather than its current basis, the retail prices index.
This has wide reaching implications, not only for those public sector workers currently going through divorce who are unable to get cash equivalent transfer values (CETVs) or implement their pension sharing orders, but potentially, all final salary pension schemes.
The implementation of the change has been set at 3 months but this is by no means guaranteed and there is likely to be a backlog of cases. This affects all of the public sector schemes including the NHS, Fire, Police, Armed Forces, Teachers and the Local Government Pension Scheme.
It is possible to still get divorced legally but the financial settlement will not be completed without agreeing the pension settlement.
The long term implications of the move are greater. The CPI is a lower measure than RPI and so the knock on effect will be that inevitably CETVs will be lower leading to lower pension settlements.
In addition, the private sector is likely to follow suit although this will take longer as they will need to consult with their pension members.
See my comments on this in The Guardian.
For more information on this issue, please contact us on 0800 092 1229 or email email@example.com
Posted February 8th, 2010
In many occupational schemes (especially the statutory ones – e.g. Police, Armed Forces) there has been a disparity between the normal retirement age of the member and that given to a pension credit member (the ex spouse). For example, the member can retire from the pension scheme at age 52 but the ex spouse cannot retire until age 60.
In addition, where the pension is in payment, there will be an immediate reduction of benefit for the member but the ex spouse’s pension will not kick in until age 60 (which could be many years away).
This issue has been neatly termed as “income gap syndrome” and it has been found not to go against the anti discrimination provisions of European Law.
Of course, this assumes that the ex spouse decides upon an internal transfer as the means to facilitate the pension share. There may be many reasons why the other option (an external transfer) is appropriate, but there will many situations where the only choice available is an internal transfer.
Regulations which came into force in April 2009 made provision for a partial solution to this issue which some of the statutory schemes are now starting to implement. The NHS scheme will now permit pension credit members to draw benefits after age 50 (or 55 from 6 April 2010) whilst an Armed Forces (2005) pension credit member can draw benefits at age 55. It should be noted that actuarial reductions will apply for early payment.
From a financial planning point of view it is wise to review the drawing of a pension credit benefit in line with your overall goals and objectives to ensure that any reduction is understood and budgeted for.
For more information on this please contact me on 0800 092 1229 or contact me by email, firstname.lastname@example.org