Rules on pensions split for divorcing couples now in force

Employers will have to make administrative changes to their occupational pension schemes as a result of changes in the law which come into effect today.

The changes allow divorcing couples to split their pensions for the first time and separate their financial affairs completely.

The new rules, which are now in force give the poorer partner the opportunity to claim a share of their former spouse’s pension. Splitting the pension will not be compulsory and partners will be able to object to any application for a split.

Robin Ellison, head of Eversheds national pensions team, said that companies would have to make some administrative changes to accommodate the revised rules, but it would not have major implications for company pension schemes.

Companies are also expected to have arrangements for stakeholder pensions in place by next October.

By Paul Dinsdale

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