I would hope that most couples facing divorce or civil partnership dissolution would understand the importance of private pension assets (and the possibility of a pension split) in the overall capital settlement. I find a surprising number of potential clients have not considered the value of state pensions. It does not hurt to obtain a state retirement pension forecast and capital value if getting divorced for a number of reasons:
- Your financial position at the point of retirement (which may be closer than you think) may not be as good as you would hope, especially if you are a woman who has had a number of career breaks to bring up children. You can obtain a state retirement forecast using BR19.
- If you are considering a financial settlement that will include a pension share, your solicitors will want your independent financial advisers to have up-to-date information especially if there is going to be an attempt to equalise pension incomes for both spouses at the point of retirement.
- The capital value of a State Second Pension (S2P) may be greater than anticipated and in the course of a long marriage, it would be advisable for the solicitors to the parties to obtain a value for this pension fund. If you are involved in proceedings then it is a requirement of the financial disclosure forms (Form E) that you or your advisers attach a valuation to the form before you send it to the Court. You can use Form BR20 to ask for the value of the capital fund held by the State on your behalf.
If in doubt, submit the forms, or ask your advisers if they are required.