Legal procedure to implement a pension sharing order

The information below relates to a pension share being made on the husband’s pension in favour of an ex-wife. If the wife’s pension is to be shared in favour of an ex-husband, the same procedure needs to be followed but with reference to the husband being replaced by reference to the wife and vice versa. Similarly, if a member of a same-sex couple’s pension is to be shared on divorce with their ex-spouse, the same process applies.

  1. A prayer for pension sharing needs to be included in divorce petition.
  2. The pension sharing order needs to be formally applied for by completing Form A and filing with the Court.
  3. Form A needs to be sent to each pension scheme upon which a pension share is being considered.
  4. The Court sets the date for First Appointment and notifies the parties.
  5. Within 7 days of agreeing the date of the first appointment, the husband should request from each scheme information pursuant to Pensions on Divorce etc (Provision of Information) Regulations 2000.
  6. The husband must pass this information to the wife within 7 days of receipt.
  7. Within 21 days of receiving notification that a Pension Sharing Order may be made, the scheme must supply certain information to the scheme member:
    • Is there an existing pension attachment on the pension
    • The charges to implement a share
    • Whether the scheme is winding up
    • Whether the trustees might request information on health
    • The documents that the scheme needs to implement a pension share
  8. The scheme must supply CEVs within 3 months (or within 6 weeks if proceedings have been issued).
  9. Form E needs to have pensions information attached.
  10. The main body of order should include statement that there is to be pension sharing in accordance with the annex(es).
  11. Once the order has been agreed, a draft should be sent to the scheme to check the wording is implementable. The scheme has 21 days to reply.
  12. Within 7 days of the order being made, the court must send to each pension arrangement for which an annex exists:
    1. The decree absolute
    2. The sealed pension sharing order and relevant annex
  13. The scheme will need to be notified what form the pension credit is to take, be this retained in the husband’s scheme or transferred to an external pension arrangement.
  14. The order takes effect on the “transfer day” defined to be 28 days after the date that the order has been sealed by the court or on the date of decree absolute if later.
  15. Scheme has 4 months to implement order from the later of the date that it has taken effect “the transfer day” or on the date that it has received all the information and documentation required to implement the order. The date that the order is implemented in referred to as the “valuation day”.
  16. Scheme has 21 days after implementation to notify the husband and wife that order has been implemented and the effect on their pension benefits.