Pensions and Divorce
Our client Alice, aged 52, was referred to us following her recent divorce. She had been awarded a pension sharing order from her ex-husband’s pension scheme as part of the divorce settlement and wanted some advice on her options.
Objectives and Planning
The first stage was to review details of her ex-husband’s pension scheme (a final salary pension) and to assess Alice’s planning objectives. The Cash Equivalent Transfer Value was calculated to be just over £150,000.
Contact was made with the pension scheme administrators to fully establish available options, for example, whether Alice could become a member of the pension scheme in her own right (an “internal transfer”) and if so the terms on which that option would be offered. In this case the scheme trustees did not offer an internal transfer and therefore an “external transfer” to a separate pension scheme was the only option.
Alice had an existing Retirement Annuity Contract but no other pension arrangements, other than State Pension entitlement at age 65. We established that Alice’s existing pension would not accept a transfer in from her ex-husband’s pension scheme under the pension sharing order.
We asked Alice to complete a risk profile questionnaire which would provide a basis for assessing risk tolerance. It is envisaged that Alice will start to draw her pension income from age 65.
Once all the information was to hand we were able to provide a detailed report which included a summary of the available options and our recommendations. In this case we recommended that Alice retain her existing Retirement Annuity Contract as it provides valuable guaranteed annuity rates. The transfer value from the pension sharing order was paid in to a new Personal Pension with a leading investment wrap provider which in turn enabled us to recommend a portfolio of underlying investment funds appropriate to her identified Prudent risk profile.
We undertake an annual review of Alice’s pension portfolio together with a review of her financial planning position to ensure her objectives continue to be met. As she approaches her planned retirement age we will review the appropriateness of the risk profile, with a potential de-risking to preserve capital value.