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For members of the Local Government Pension Scheme in England and Wales

What happens to my LGPS pension if I get divorced?

This news article was published on 21 Dec 2021

If you get divorced or dissolve a civil partnership, the Court will take your the value of your pension into account when determining any settlement.

You and your ex-spouse or partner will each need to tell the Court the value of your pension pot(s) and/or the value of the benefits you have built up. You don’t have an automatic right to know the value of your ex-spouse’s or partner’s benefits, and vice versa but you can each decide to tell each other. Contact your pension fund to request the information you need.

If you live in England, Wales or Northern Ireland, it is the value of your pension benefits at the date of divorce or dissolution of the civil partnership that is counted.

If you live in Scotland, it’s the increase in the value of your pension benefits over the course of the marriage or civil partnership that is counted. This means that pensions should be valued at the date of separation.

When you go to Court, you and your ex-spouse or partner can decide how any pension benefits are split:

Pension sharing – the pension is split at the time of divorce or dissolution. You each receive a separate pension pot and can continue to build pension benefits for the future

Pension offsetting – you each keep your own pension benefits but adjust the proportion of other assets to take account of the value of the pension benefits. For example, you could keep your pension, and your ex-spouse or ex-civil partner could get a larger share of the value of the house.

Pension earmarking – arranging that when one person’s pension benefits start to be drawn down, part of them will be paid to the other person.

You may wish to get legal advice from your solicitor on how to deal with your LGPS benefits during any divorce or dissolution of a civil partnership.

You can find out more about pension sharing and earmarking in the other FAQs in this section.

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