Finances & Pensions
Once a spouse has vacated your SFA and moved into your own accommodation, there are no Service-based entitlements available.
For details on what benefits you may be entitled to and how to split savings, pensions etc. contact the following support agencies for useful advice:
- Citizens Advice
- MoneyForce - Divorce and Separation
- Royal British Legion
- Money Advice Service - Divorce and Separation
During this very stressful period, it is wise to think clearly about your future finances and ensure they are sorted before the Decree Absolute.
The Armed Forces Pension can be the biggest asset in the divorce, so it is important this is settled before the divorce is finalised; it will be very difficult to access any of your spouse’s pension after the Decree Absolute.
As each divorce settlement is individual to each couple, it is best to seek professional legal advice from someone with knowledge of the Armed Forces Pension Scheme (AFPS). The Law Society website can help with this search.
It is important to highlight that, due to the Armed Forces lifestyle, spouses encounter barriers to employment and therefore cannot fully build their own personal pension; this needs to be taken into account when looking at future finances.
The Services Insurance and Investment Advisory Panel (SIIAP), which is endorsed by the MOD, can signpost you to specialist providers.
In order to split the pension fairly, the first step is to find out what the pension is worth. Veterans UK provide lots of information about the Armed Forces Pensions and Divorce, including getting a pensions valuation and Cash Equivalent Transfer Value (CETV).
For more information, see:
- Pension Benefits on Divorce and Dissolution of Civil Partnerships
- www.gov.uk - Pension sharing charges
Some of the more common ways to deal with the pension are:
- Pension sharing – you are awarded a percentage of share of your ex-partner’s pension
- Pension’s attachment – you receive an agreed amount of your ex-partner’s net pension income or a lump sum when the pension starts being paid to them
- Pension offsetting – the value of the pension is offset against your other assets, e.g. you may keep a share of shared property in exchange for your ex-partner keeping their pension
For more information, see:
- Pension on divorce or dissolution of a civil partnership. Charging regime
- The Pensions Advisory Service - When relationships end - Divorce, dissolution and separation
Child Maintenance Options is a free service that provides impartial information and support to help separated parents make decisions about their child maintenance arrangements, e.g. child maintenance payments. The service is provided on behalf of the Department for Work and Pensions.
For more information visit www.cmoptions.org or contact 0800 988 0988.
In England, Wales or Northern Ireland, the total value of the pension benefits you have each built up at the date of the divorce or dissolution of the civil partnership is taken into account. This is all of your pensions, whether you built them up before or during your marriage/civil partnership.
In Scotland, only the value of the pensions you have both built up during your marriage or civil partnership is taken into account. This means that anything built up before you were married/became civil partners or anything built up after your date of separation does not count. Your pensions will be valued at the date of separation.