In my experience, most women and some men overlook pensions when they are considering bringing their marriage to an end and what they don’t realise is that for most of them they will have contributed to a state pension, an additional state pension, quite often a work related pension and they won’t realise the value of those. Some of these pensions the contributions are taken out of their salary so they are often forgotten about. The employers will add to those contributions giving you at the time of divorce after a reasonable number of years of marriage a significant asset.
Quite often your pension on divorce will be worth far more than your house. In this day and age we are all living far longer and when you retire and all you have to live on is your pension it is going to be increasingly important for you to know that you have got a fair share of the pensions that were accrued, that were grown during your marriage. So knowing what pensions you have is extremely important.
Having quantified what is quite often the largest asset in a marriage, you then have to share it fairly between you both. We still have a society where women usually stay at home and care for the children or they will reduce their hours to care for the children or they will have less of a career structure and less money so in most cases their pensions will be less and it is entirely wrong that they should have less of a share of the pensions accrued during the marriage. Their needs when they retire will be the same as the husband.
So as a lawyer, one of the things we look at is the value of the pensions. They are complicated, they come in all shapes and sizes, they have to be quantified to be shared equally at the end of the day it is not a job that the man on the street can usually do on his or her own. He needs expert advice, lawyers will go to experts who are able to helps us help our clients so that they get what is right and fair, no more no less.