For members of the Local Government Pension Scheme in England and Wales
What is an Earmarking Order?
This news article was published on 21 Dec 2021
If the Court makes an Earmarking Order, your LGPS benefits still belong to you, but some are earmarked for your ex-spouse or ex-civil partner. The earmarked benefits will be paid to your ex-spouse or ex-civil partner when your benefits are paid, reducing the amount paid to you.
The Order can require that your ex-spouse or ex-civil partner receive one or a combination of the following:
all or part of your LGPS pension – this doesn’t apply to divorces / dissolutions in Scotland
all or part of any lump sum payable to you, and
all or part of any lump sum payable on your death.
When earmarked benefits become payable, your pension fund will contact your ex-spouse or ex-civil partner to check that the Earmarking Order is still valid and arrange to pay the earmarked benefits.
You can transfer your benefits to another pension arrangement on leaving the LGPS, as long as your new pension provider can accept the Earmarking Order.
Earmarking has limitations and is not widely used. As the pension rights remain with you, your ex-spouse or ex-civil partner must wait for you to retire or die to receive the earmarked benefits. If your former spouse or civil partner remarries or enters into a new civil partnership, an Earmarking Order against pension payments would cease and the full pension would be restored to you. This would not affect any lump sums, unless the Order directs otherwise.
Pension payments to your former spouse or civil partner would stop on your death, although any earmarked lump sum death grant would then become payable to your ex-spouse or ex-civil partner.