It should be noted that Collins Pension Actuaries does not undertake direct data collection on behalf of parties, but does guided data collection.
Under guided data collection we will advise the parties of the information required in respect of their pensions and they obtain it directly from their pension providers. That way, the parties can control the speed at which the information we require is obtained.
When information is received full copies of it should be sent to us for analysis so we can specify any further information that might be required or any technical questions that might need to be asked of the scheme.
We say why would you not want to take responsibility for collecting the necessary information about your own pension? It is after all your pension, your benefits and your future. You will be facing a significant financial upheaval following divorce and forward financial planning will be an essential part of that. Pensions represent future income and therefore it makes perfect sense that you are in control of the information to be provided in respect of your pension.
You will have to provide all sorts of other financial data for the divorce disclosure purposes such as bank statements, credit card statements, house valuations, savings account details, investment details, an itinerary of your most valuable assets and so on.
Pensions are no different.
However, the principal reason why Collins Pension Actuaries advises that it is in the best interests for divorcing couples to collect their own pension data is that it leads to the quicker production of Pension Sharing Reports. This is based on our extensive experience in providing Pension Sharing Reports and the way in which issues such as the GDPR requirements make it ever harder for third parties acting on behalf of divorcing couples to obtain swift and comprehensive replies to data requests.
Other issues arise. For example, it should be remembered that the pensions are your pensions. In our experience, parties often overlook to tell their former pension scheme administrators that they have changed address or married and changed name. Accordingly, very often pension schemes are unable to provide any data because the contact address details, name or signatures held on its system do not match that which are currently provided by the member.
This issue can only be resolved by the pension scheme member and therefore by undertaking data collection yourself you are also ensuring that the pension scheme concerned is aware of your current contact details.
Collins Pension Actuaries provides on its website an extremely simple Data Collection Form which provides you with a step by step guide to produce bespoke Data Collection Letters to send to your pension schemes. These bespoke Data Collection Letters can be printed, downloaded or emailed straight to you or to your pension scheme. The Data Collection process is easy to follow, efficient and can be done anywhere – all you need is an internet connection.
If you have not yet created your Data Collection Letters then you can do so below: