If you get divorced or there is dissolution of your civil partnership, there are two important points that you should note:
- Your ex-spouse or ex-civil partner will no longer be entitled to any survivor pension, should you predecease him or her.
- Children’s pensions will continue to be payable to any eligible children in the event of your death – see Child survivors for more information.
The cost of complying with any court order imposing obligations on the 2015 Scheme may be recovered directly from you.
You should also note that in the event of a financial claim in proceedings for divorce, judicial separation, nullity of marriage or dissolution of civil partnership, the Police Pension Authority is required, if requested, to provide a statement of the cash equivalent transfer value of your benefits under the 2015 Scheme (and under the 1987 Scheme or the 2006 Scheme if you have accrued benefits under those arrangements) in order to enable the court to take into account the pension entitlements in the settlement of financial claims.
The court may offset the value of your benefits against any other assets or, in divorce, dissolution or nullity proceedings, it may issue a pension sharing order.
In financial claims arising from proceedings for nullity, judicial separation, divorce or dissolution a court may make an earmarking order against your pension.
If the court issues an earmarking order, it may require that when your benefits come into payment your ex-spouse or ex-civil partner should receive one of, or a combination of, the following benefits:
- All or part of your pension.
- All or part of your commuted lump sum.
- All or part of any death grant paid if you die in service.
An earmarking order against pension payments (but not lump sums unless the order so directs) will lapse automatically on the remarriage of your ex-spouse or formation of a civil partnership of your ex-civil-partner, and your full pension will be restored to you.
Pension payments to your ex-spouse or ex-civil partner cease on your death.
If the court issues a pension sharing order, a percentage of your accrued rights will be allocated to your ex-spouse or ex-civil partner based upon accrual up to either 28 days after the effective date of the order, or the date of the decree absolute if later.
Your pension, your lump sum and survivors’ benefits will be reduced. Your ex-spouse or ex-civil partner will hold pension credit benefits in the scheme in his or her own right which will become payable when s/he reaches SPA. The reduction to your pension is called a pension debit.