Pension sharing orders
Produced in partnership with Rebecca Dziobon of Penningtons Manches Cooper

The following Family practice note produced in partnership with Rebecca Dziobon of Penningtons Manches Cooper provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Pension sharing orders
  • Key features of pension sharing
  • Types of pension that can or cannot be the subject of pension sharing orders
  • DWP guidance
  • Pension sharing freedoms—implications
  • Tax
  • Variation, set aside and appeals out of time
  • Before the pension sharing order has taken effect
  • After the pension sharing order has taken effect
  • Foreign pensions
  • More...

Pension sharing orders

This Practice Note explains what a pension sharing order is within family proceedings and sets out which pension interests can be shared and which cannot be shared. It also sets out the key features of a pension sharing order including pension credits and pension debits, variation issues, tax consequences and the approach to overseas pensions. For practical guidance on pensions generally, see Practice Note: General principles—pensions in family proceedings.

Pension sharing is the method by which an existing (shareable) pension arrangement is split and divided between the parties following divorce, nullity or dissolution proceedings. It is not a financial provision or property adjustment order but a separate species of order.

Pension sharing introduces the concept of pension credits and pension debits. The person with pension rights loses a percentage of their fund’s value, which is transferred (the pension debit) upon sharing. The ex-spouse/civil partner receives the percentage transferred (the pension credit) and they gain pension entitlement in their own right. See also Practice Note: Implementation of pension orders in family proceedings.

The credit can be invested in the same scheme (an internal transfer) or a new scheme (an external transfer). Appropriate advice should be sought as to whether both options are available and, if so, which option meets the future financial needs of the parties. For more information, see Practice Note: Valuing pension rights in

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