Lawyers let down divorced women when it comes to pensions

Divorced women have low pensions wealth because those assisting with the process either overlook pensions wealth or fail to assess it properly

Part of the reason divorced women have low pensions wealth is those assisting with the process either overlook pensions wealth or fail to assess it properly. Pensions on divorce have been misunderstood for years.

Looking at particular cases, we can see different practitioners have varying approaches.

A pensions advisory group was set up in 2017 to assist family law practitioners who may not always have an in-depth understanding of the treatment of pensions in divorce.

With guidance due out in March, this will hopefully mark the beginnings of a long overdue change in the way divorce pension rights are assessed. Consistency of approach would be very welcome if this guidance, when finalised, can find a practical middle ground.

It is certainly not the legislation that needs to change, but rather the application of it – principally, it seems, by lawyers who specialise in divorce matters.

David Everett is partner at Lane Clark & Peacock

Part of the reason divorced women have low pensions wealth is those assisting with the process either overlook pensions wealth or fail to assess it properly. Pensions on divorce have been misunderstood for years.

Looking at particular cases, we can see different practitioners have varying approaches.

A pensions advisory group was set up in 2017 to assist family law practitioners who may not always have an in-depth understanding of the treatment of pensions in divorce.

With guidance due out in March, this will hopefully mark the beginnings of a long overdue change in the way divorce pension rights are assessed. Consistency of approach would be very welcome if this guidance, when finalised, can find a practical middle ground.

It is certainly not the legislation that needs to change, but rather the application of it – principally, it seems, by lawyers who specialise in divorce matters.

David Everett is partner at Lane Clark & Peacock

Main pensions and divorce outcomes

Source: Pensions Advisory Service

Main pensions and divorce outcomes

Source: Pensions Advisory Service

Main pensions and divorce outcomes

Source: Pensions Advisory Service

Divorced women drastically miss out on pensions wealth

Source: Relate January 2017

Divorced women drastically miss out on pensions wealth

Source: Wave of Wealth and Assets Survey 2014-2016

Divorced women drastically miss out on pensions wealth

Source: Wave of Wealth and Assets Survey 2014-2016

Divorced women drastically miss out on pensions wealth

Source: Slater and Gordon survey of 2,000 married adults

Share this story

More Content

ADVICE

3 Comments Breakfast Club: From offshore oil worker to running an advice firm

Breakfast Club: From offshore oil worker to running an advice firm

Jennifer Ellis runs Wellington Wealth alongside sister Nicola Ellis, emphasising the importance of family and client service

twitter_banner

INVESTMENT