Why should I have a Pension Sharing Report?

It is understandable at a time of distress and financial difficulty to question whether such a Pension Sharing Report is worth the extra cost within the divorce process.

Our response to this would be severalfold.

Firstly, it should not be an extra cost, it should really be one of the first costs in a divorce. Pensions are generally by far the greatest source of assets that individuals have and to only involve a pensions actuary at a later stage in the divorce proceedings is likely to mean that the significant issues in the case have not yet been addressed.

Secondly, each party has only one chance to ensure that the pension assets are appropriately considered. It is generally not possible to return to a case and factor in pensions that were overlooked or revise a Pension Sharing Order because of a misunderstood pension asset. Accordingly, the Penson Sharing Report enables each party to make an informed decision with regards to their pension assets and hence enable a clean break with peace of mind.

Thirdly and bluntly, pensions are too complicated for lay people to fully understand and as such they are likely to misunderstand or misinterpret the information provided by pension schemes. Having a pensions actuary prepare a report will mean the pension assets are properly interpreted so no misunderstandings occur. We often find errors in information provided by pension schemes that had they not been spotted would have left one or other party significantly financially disadvantaged. If you try and do it yourself, with a view to saving costs, then you are very likely to find the financial implications are many more times the costs you think you might have saved.