Posted September 17th, 2012
The role of solicitors and mediators during divorce is well documented and shouldn’t be taken lightly or underestimated as many self representing clients find out to their cost.
However, aside from wrangling over custody arrangements, would you leave it to either professional party to value your house during a split of assets?
No? So why is it that little or no heed is often taken in divorce proceedings with regards to the pensions?
As I stated in the above article, there are many solicitors that I work with that do have the necessary skill set to enable you to achieve a fair outcome, often calling in the necessary professionals to assist with their advice.
I have recently been contacted by two claim companies and an independent solicitor looking at past settlements and wanting referrals from me for potential claims they can investigate. They are investigating whether the true value of the pensions has been ignored, overlooked or misunderstood as part of the overall settlement.
This is no coincidence and perhaps a sign of the times but 12 years after the legislation was passed bringing pension sharing into force I am still seeing big mistakes being made.
To avoid having to go through this with your pension sharing case then please get in touch now on 01204 663904.
Posted August 16th, 2012
I was recently contacted by a client who had not implemented their Pension Sharing Order since 2003.
Not only was this a breach of the original order, there were a number of consequences that had occurred since the order was made. These were:
- The Cash Equivalent (CE) was recalculated at £213000 rather than the original £280000.
- Therefore my clients share of the CE was considerably lower, by £67000.
- The reason for this was that her husband had drawn benefits and as a consequence of this she was unable to take any lump sum from the pension.
- As the order was over 7 years old she had no recourse to go back to her solicitor for redress.
Therefore if you have a pension sharing order and are looking to implement it, my advice is to do so immediately. In the case of my client she has lost out on £67000 of CE and 25% pension commencement lump sum of the higher share figure £280000 / 50% (c.£.35,000)
Don’t let this happen to you please get in touch today!
Posted December 20th, 2011
Every now and again a pension sharing order takes time to be implemented and I have had a recent spate of orders that have not completed in timely manner.
There is normally a good explanation as to why implementation has not occurred and typically there will be outstanding documentary requirements or the order is invalid due to a typing error, or incorrect policy number etc.
Another reason that often occurs is the payment of the fee for implementation has not been paid, particularly when the ex spouse is expected to pay half or all of the costs.
This should not be confused with delays that can occur once the implementation period has started. The timescale for implementation is four months from the date that all the documentation has been received and in my experience, orders tend to be completed very quickly in month one, or unfortunately, towards the end in month four.
I recently had an interesting discussion with one pensions administrator who was talking about taking the fee from the pension pot or from the credit of the ex spouse, or putting a block on them retiring so as to not delay the implementation of the pension sharing order. Whether they are able to do this is a mute point, but shows that once the order is in place the pension scheme is under an obligation to implement where possible.
If you are struggling to implement your pension sharing order or have any questions regarding it why not get in touch on 0800 0921229 or email email@example.com.
Posted September 7th, 2011
I have recently been dealing with two client cases where the state pension entitlements had not or were not being factored into the divorce proceedings. What a difference in outcome when I was involved early in the proceedings made…
In the first case which was at the negotiation stage, I was asked by my client whether state pensions should be included as assets in the divorce. I confirmed that (in my opinion) they should be looked at and that at the very least a BR20 valuation of the second state pension should be undertaken.
Having instructed a new lawyer the BR20 valuation was undertaken and £118,000 of pension value later this “new” asset was brought into the pension and financial settlement discussions. Result – she was able to negotiate a higher percentage share of her husband’s non state pension arrangements to the tune of
In the second case, the client had been reading my website and rang me to query why in her financial settlement (she was at the implementation stage and had pension orders and consent order completed to prove it) it had not been taken into account. My response was that it should have been. Of course, in this case it was too late because the settlement had been reached. Could she have a lost out?
To avoid this scenario, why not get in touch with me and have a conversation about your pension entitlements on 0800 029 1229 or email me firstname.lastname@example.org
Posted September 10th, 2010
In one of my previous blogs I covered the delays that can happen at the start of the process and lead to a postponement of implementation notice being issued. This blog covers the problems caused when the four month implementation period is breached and details what you can do about it.
The regulations set the timescale for implementing a pension sharing order at four months which you would expect is plenty time for the trustees of any pension scheme to organise the internal transfer or external transfer of pension assets. But it is not the trustees who usually arrange the implementation of a pension sharing order but the pension scheme administrator. Unfortunately, this can mean delays because the standard of pension administration differs hugely between administration providers and pension schemes.
Part II of the Pension Sharing (Implementation and Discharge) Regulations 2000/1053 sets out the requirements in terms of notifying the Pension Regulator of failure of the trustees to implement the share within the 4 months. This section also sets out the circumstances in which the trustees may seek an extension and penalties which may be applied (maximum £1,000 for individuals, £10,000 otherwise). Making the trustees aware of their duties to report to the Regulator should be enough to scare them into action.
In fact, in such cases it is usually the threat of going to the Regulator about delays which really gets things moving.
If you are suffering delays in the implementation of your pension sharing order or you are looking to avoid such problems, please contact me on 0800 092 1229 or email email@example.com
Posted September 3rd, 2010
Once your pension sharing order or pension sharing annex is received by the trustees together with all of the additional documentation (see previous blog – http://bit.ly/azX9do) it is quite normal for the implementation period to start.
Given that it can take up to four months for implementation to be completed it is a good idea to get this started as soon as possible. In my experience, sharing orders either complete in the first month or the fourth!
But often the pension sharing order may be badly worded or incorrectly drafted and this often leads to it being immediately rejected by the pension scheme involved. They will issue a postponement of implementation notice summarising why the pension sharing annex has been rejected and what is required to amend it.
Recent examples of cases I have worked on where the order was rejected (before I got involved!) are:
- The title of the pension scheme was incorrectly stated (Part C- Form P1).
- The trustees of the pension scheme were incorrectly stated (Part C – Form P1).
- The former names section of the order was incomplete (Part B – Form P1).
- The new pension arrangement is not stated (Part F&G – Form P1)
Once advice is taken, it can often be a relatively straightforward matter to get the order amended but it does need to then go back to court to be restamped, which can add to the time delays.
If you are considering how to draft your pension sharing order or you require further assistance on a incorrectly drafted pension sharing order, please contact me on 0800 092 1229 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Posted August 27th, 2010
So the pension share has been agreed. You have your settlement in place and are now looking at your options on what to do next?
What can go wrong you ask? Well unfortunately, plenty of things.
In the last few months, I have dealt with a range of problems, including:
• The pension sharing order didn’t appear – whose responsible?
• The pension sharing order was drafted incorrectly.
• The receiving scheme insisting that financial advice is taken – why can’t they just implement?.
• Delays in implementation.
I intend to expand on these issues in subsequent posts but if this affects you or you require any further assistance, please contact us on 0800 092 1229 or email email@example.com