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

What happens if…?

I am protected by the underpin and I get divorced?

The Court will take the value of your pension into account in any settlement. Your pension fund works out the value of your pension. This value may be increased if you are protected by the underpin. If your pension is shared, part of that increase will be passed on to your former spouse or civil partner.

Find out more about divorce and your pension from our Divorce or dissolution of a civil partnership FAQs.

Your pension fund will look again at the value of your pension on the date of the pension sharing order. If the value has increased because of underpin protection, they will also re-calculate the share awarded to your former spouse or civil partner.

For many members, the pension they built up in the career average scheme is higher than the pension they would have built up in the final salary scheme. This means that, for most members, the value of their pension on the date of the pension share will not change and the pension share awarded to their former spouse or civil partner will not increase.

Your pension fund will review the value of your former spouse or civil partner’s pension on the date of the pension sharing order. If it is higher because of their underpin protection, your pension credit will be increased. You will be paid arrears of payments from the date your pension credit was first paid, plus interest.

If you do not hear from your pension fund when the rules change in October 2023, do not worry:

  • Your pension fund has thousands of pensions to review. This is a huge exercise which will take many months to complete.
  • In many cases, the value of a member’s pension will not increase because of underpin protection. If it does not, there will be no increase to the pension credit.

You can find out more about pension credits and the LGPS in our Pension credit FAQs.

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