Many of my clients, regardless of gender, do not actually know that a pension is classified as a matrimonial asset on divorce.
Therefore, simply put, yes you are entitled to a portion of your spouse's pension.
It was interesting to note that data from the family law courts show that only 13% of 116,612 divorces filed in 2019 contained some sort of pension settlement order. It has been reported that women are more likely to lose out on pension cash during a divorce than men. According to figures from the Pension Policy Institute, the average divorced woman has £26,100 in pension wealth, less than a third of the average divorced man, who holds £103,500. Allegedly women often accumulate less pension provision due to taking time out of work to care for children or older relatives, or through only working part-time.
In anticipation of the new "no fault" divorce being introduced soon, there are fears the timing of the government's plans could lead to some people being left worse off. According to Quilter (a financial services company listed on the London Stock Exchange listed on the London Stock Exchange) this is because couples with emotional stress worsened by the coronavirus pandemic may rush into a divorce and miss out on important financial assets such as pension benefits
Many people do not know that they are entitled to a portion of their spouse's pensions or they underestimate the importance of dividing it.
Pension experts have warned that couples need to get legal and professional advice before embarking upon divorce proceedings. Jon Greer, head of retirement planning at Quilter has said that "Divorcees need to make sure they are receiving professional advice, both legal and financial, before, during and after any divorce case to ensure any settlement is fair for both parties involved. It should not be acceptable for pensions to be ignored, since they will have a major impact later in someone's life".
Pension can become complex, especially when trying to settle on your financial matters on divorce and it is therefore paramount that you do seek advice in relation to your rights so that you can consider all of your options carefully.
This is not legal advice; it is intended to provide information of general interest about current legal issues.