Pensions Guide | Pensions Help Product Information | What If I Get Divorced?

If you get divorced or have your marriage annulled, the courts have to take into account the value of all your assets, including the value of your pension rights. This is so that the courts can decide how your assets should be divided.

Since 1 December 2000, new rules have allowed couples whose marriage ends in divorce or annulment to share the value of their pension rights. The idea is to provide greater flexibility and choice, and, where possible, a clean break. Pension sharing is not compulsory; it is simply an option available to divorcing couples who have rights to second pensions, such as:

  • an occupational pension scheme;
  • a stakeholder pension scheme;
  • a personal pension scheme; and
  • the additional state pension.

Pension sharing does not apply to:

  • the basic state Retirement Pension, as divorced people can already replace their own contribution record with their husband’s or wife’s record for the period the marriage lasted;
  • couples who started divorce or annulment proceedings before 1 December 2000; or;
  • couples who separate but do not divorce.

Pension sharing only applies to divorce proceedings which started on or after 1 December 2000.

If you want to know more about how divorce affects your pension, you may want to get advice from a lawyer or an independent financial adviser (or both).