MONEY MATTERS with Scott Woods of Bingham-Woods Independent Financial Advisors, Spalding

Staff at Bingham-Woods Independent Financial Advisors, Spalding.  Photo by Tim Wilson.
Staff at Bingham-Woods Independent Financial Advisors, Spalding. Photo by Tim Wilson.
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Pensions is becoming as important as property in divorce settlements

For the first time pensions and property have become equally important assets in divorce settlements, with pensions likely to become increasingly so as more people understand the often significant sums of money they involve. 
This trend has been noted by UK pension administrator Equiniti which has seen a significant increase in valuations as a result of divorces over the past few years. 
Equiniti expects the number of valuations to increase even further due to the greater awareness of the value of pensions following the new freedoms and the potential ability to sell an annuity for cash. 
A recent Supreme Court ruling which could see thousands of ex-wives and husbands pursuing their former spouses for money - and pensions - years after they divorce if no Financial Order was established at the time of their split has also contributed to the trend. 
Paul Sturgess of Equiniti, said: “Although pension reforms in the 1990s were expected to increase its importance as an asset at divorce, this did not initially materialise. 
“However in recent years, awareness of the significant financial value of pensions has risen and, as a result, they are increasingly being assessed as an asset in the case of a divorce. 
“This spike is likely to be further fuelled by the current focus on pensions which has highlighted the value of both defined contribution and final salary schemes. 
“The Supreme Court ruling is likely to also have a further knock-on effect, prompting many divorcees to revisit the fact that no Financial Order was put in place at the time of divorce. 
“Nevertheless, not everyone fully understands the asset value of their pension and it could be a rude surprise for a divorcee if an ex-spouse was the source of this financial education years later.”

Money Matters with Scott Woods.  Photo by Tim Wilson.

Money Matters with Scott Woods. Photo by Tim Wilson.

Awareness of the significant financial value of pensions has risen and, as a result, they are increasingly being assessed as an asset in the case of a divorce.

Paul Sturgess, director of strategy and pensions administration, Equiniti