Treasury recalculations of public sector pensions could cause delays to divorces

24th May 2023

Both current and retired teachers and NHS workers are being impacted by delays in the Treasury’s reassessment of public sector pension entitlements.

When married couples or civil partners separate, both parties must provide financial disclosure setting out details of their property, assets, income and pensions to be used as the basis of negotiations and discussions. Those in the public sector, are reliant upon the Treasury to provide the value of their pension, namely its cash equivalent transfer value (CETV). Calculations of certain public sector CETVs were suspended in March 2023 while the Government determined a new way of deciding the value of such pensions.

Pensions are generally people’s most valuable asset after their property. Whilst it is possible to obtain final orders without full disclosure of both parties’ finances, it is not advisable to do so as this significantly increases the possibility of an unfair divorce settlement and will prevent any retrospective claims to an ex-partner’s pension.

In real terms, these delays have prevented public sector workers from finalising their divorces, which as many will know, can be one of the most stressful periods in someone’s life.

The Treasury says that delays should be short lived, as the suspension of the calculation of CETV has now ended. How quickly those waiting on pension valuations will receive them remains to be seen.

If you or anyone you know requires assistance with their divorce or financial settlement, please contact our Legal 500 recommended family department here.

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