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Topic:
Pension sharing (36 Posts)
Started By:
Date:
19 December, 2017 10:23PM
Pension sharing
Rob Duh - 19 December, 2017 10:23PM
I’ve recently been on the wrong end of a pension sharing order and I still can’t decide whether or not to appeal against it.
My wife and I were both civil servants who retired at age 51. We were members of the ‘classic’ pension scheme which is totally unfunded; we did not pay a penny of contributions into it and neither did our employer. We are simply paid an annual income out of the public purse. Despite this the judge has treated these pensions as marital assets and ordered me to pay her half the difference in the valuations placed on our pensions by a court appointed actuary. This is completely different to pretty much all the case law which involves real money held in bank accounts or investments. Surely not all pensions are the same and are not all marital assets. Do I appeal?
Re: Pension sharing
HatMan - 20 December, 2017 06:59AM
Just because I and millions of others fund your cushy pension does not mean that it doesn't have value - of course it is an asset and your view that it is not of value is patently ridiculous, the value is defined by the benefit that it provides and can be very accurately assessed - the fact that you have been given an incredible benefit that others can only dream of at zero cost to yourself is irritating enough without you trying to swerve your legal responsibilities too...in summary you will be pissing in the wind if you think an appeal is worthwhile.

PS - The fact that you were able to retire at 51 tells volumes about the ridiculous generosity of this scheme - as you might guess I have zero sympathy for whatever you lose now...I just wish I wasn't paying it.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 20/12/2017 07:27AM by HatMan.
Re: Pension sharing
davidterry - 20 December, 2017 12:35PM
If there was a final hearing and a determination by a judge after hearing evidence then your chances of appeal are negligible. Basically you can only appeal upon the basis that the judge was wrong in law or else came to a conclusion that no reasonable judge could have come to. Those are very high hurdles to jump and you have said nothing which would indicate that you could appeal on either basis.
Re: Pension sharing
Rob Duh - 04 January, 2018 10:00PM
I’d just like to ask HatMan, and anybody else this: if you had an income of £50,000 a year and were expected to continue receiving it for another 20 years would you be a millionaire? (Do the maths HatMan even you should be able to cope!) If you were getting divorced would you expect to have to give your wife £500,000 and, if you did, where would you get the cash from? At least Mr White (as in White v White) had real money in an actual bank account which existed and was shareable! I’ve been ordered to give my wife a bigger than half share of our total marital assets on the basis of an imaginary asset that does not exist and as far as Government is concerned is a liability for them as there is no funding held to support it. Whatever your views on public pensions HatMan you must surely be able to see how this decision is not supportable in law.
Re: Pension sharing
HatMan - 05 January, 2018 07:00AM
If you think it is not supportable in law you are in a minority of one, I very much look forward to reading more on here when you launch your appeal against this order....it will be most entertaining for those of us grounded in reality - you will note that the actual advice you received from a solicitor was that you do not have a case in law...ergo I surmise that my opinion on what is supportable in law appears to be more accurate than yours.

And no one is ordering you to give any actual cash - just a share of the pension, so your point is moot.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/01/2018 07:04AM by HatMan.
Re: Pension sharing
davidterry - 05 January, 2018 11:38AM
>>Despite this the judge has treated these pensions as marital assets and ordered me to pay her half the difference in the valuations placed on our pensions by a court appointed actuary.

What EXACTLY have you been ordered to pay? The above sentence is so vague that it could mean all sorts of things. Was there a pension sharing order in favour of your wife - ie was a part of your pension to be transferred to her? Were you ordered to pay her £X per month out of the pension you receive? Or were you ordered to pay her a lump sum of £X with no pension share?

What you have written is theoretically capable of any of these three interpretations. Which was it?
Re: Pension sharing
Andyk - 05 January, 2018 12:37PM
As I understand it if a pension (annuity) is not in payment then there is a value attached to that, even Civil Service ones which are unfunded, and on a pension share then the trustees/administrator would pay that share to the new provider.

Where the annuity is in payment (for example £1k per month with a 50/50 share) then depending on the scheme rules, whoever pays the annuity would either make a £500 payment to each person, or reduce the payment to the annuitant to £500 and calculate a value of that remaining £500 and make a lump sum payment to the provider of the receiving spouses choice.
Re: Pension sharing
Rob Duh - 05 January, 2018 08:56PM
HatMan please answer my question. If there is no difference between having £500k in the bank and a pension “valued” at a difference of £500k even though it’s totally unfunded where would you get that £500k from? Since when has it been right - or fair as required by the law - to use a non-existent asset as a means of distributing real physical assets such as cars, houses etc. If there is no difference please explain it to me.
Re: Pension sharing
HatMan - 05 January, 2018 09:28PM
You don't need to provide the £500K though do you, all you have to so is share the benefit....that is why it is called a pension SHARING order, I am starting to understand why you have taken the name DUH as part of you online personae.

Seriously if your theory held good there isn't a single spouse of a civil servant or similar who would ever get part of a pension....and there have been countless thousands who have divorced and got such an order, anyway - as I said I really look forward to you testing this in court and watching your savings being eaten up in legal costs as you lose ( not that any lawyer would take the case on as it is so ludicrous)
Re: Pension sharing
Rob Duh - 08 January, 2018 02:08PM
Once again Hitman you’re failed to understand. I have had to provide a share of the value, not the benefit. Fortunately the numbers weren’t that bad so i haven’t been left trying to find £500k. But my point is, in principle, that’s exactly what I’ve been ordered to do and others could, in theory, also be ordered to do. That is the difference between having a genuine marital asset such as a house, car, savings in the bank or even a pension fund that you have put marital income into, and a value placed on my unfunded pension which is simply the value of the income I will receive over the next twenty years - get it?

As the value placed on my pension is simply a multiple of the annual amount I receive I am effectively paying her maintenance, which she is not entitled to, in the guise of pension sharing.

Most pensions these days are funded, ie individuals contribute to them out of their (marital) income and those pensions therefore represent a fund of (marital) wealth which is rightly shared. My case is very specifically one where my pension is not the same as all those modern pensions and should not have been treated as a marital asset. It’s not even an asset for Government let alone for me.
Re: Pension sharing
davidterry - 08 January, 2018 02:29PM
You have not answered the post below. Until you do what you are writing is basically meaningless you are just talking about concepts in your head rather than specific facts.

>>Despite this the judge has treated these pensions as marital assets and ordered me to pay her half the difference in the valuations placed on our pensions by a court appointed actuary.

What EXACTLY have you been ordered to pay? The above sentence is so vague that it could mean all sorts of things. Was there a pension sharing order in favour of your wife - ie was a part of your pension to be transferred to her? Were you ordered to pay her £X per month out of the pension you receive? Or were you ordered to pay her a lump sum of £X with no pension share?

What you have written is theoretically capable of any of these three interpretations. Which was it?
Re: Pension sharing
jill_of_all_trades - 08 January, 2018 02:34PM
The pension was built during the marriage. Pensions built during the marriage get shared. Starting point 50/50 split. My ex is sharing his Civil Service pension with me and it is only right that he do so because he only managed to accrue it because I did the lions' share of the child rearing leaving him free to work full time.
Re: Pension sharing
HatMan - 08 January, 2018 03:43PM
I totally understand what your question is, the problem is that you refuse to understand the answers you have been given by myself and others, you also refuse to answer questions posed to you regarding the order that has been made and want English law rewritten to suit yourself.

I am starting to think that you are either a troll or have some mental incapacity which is affecting your thought processes - you have been given advice and have been asked questions by the solicitor who runs this forum, I suggest that you spend every penny you have funding a challenge to the law and then go and live in a tent.
Re: Pension sharing
Rob Duh - 09 January, 2018 11:25PM
Despite feeling that I have provided detailed information already I will clarify the points raised by davidterry again.
There has been a pension sharing order in favour of my wife as stated above. It did not involve the transfer of any part of my pension rights to her. I was not ordered to pay her anything out of my monthly income. I was ordered to pay her a lump sum by way of a pension share. I don’t know what you mean by a pension sharing order that involves “a lump sum payment of £x with no pension share”. If there’s a pension sharing order then it’s a pension share regardless of how it’s paid surely? The lump sum, as I’ve explained was based on the difference in the values placed on our respective unfunded Civil Service pensions.

Jill - we were both civil servants in the same pension scheme. My ex had a far better career than me finishing in a higher grade on a significantly higher pay scale. It was me doing the lions share of the parenting that enabled her to pursue her career. The only reason her pension entitlement is lesser than mine is that she chose to reduce her working hours when it was no longer necessary to do do. She enjoyed a part year work pattern even when our children were at university! What you say about pensions getting shared is undoubtedly true. However my query is essentially whether the ‘practice’ of judges in doing so is correct in every case. The system does seem to regard pension sharing as an automatic right but that’s not what the legi station says if anyone cares to read it.
Re: Pension sharing
Andyk - 10 January, 2018 05:25AM
pension funds generally go into the pot when it comes to splitting the finances along with house, savings etc. Is it that you are to give your wife more of the house/savings in lieu of sharing your actual pension.

I have seen that before where usually the husband instead of taking 50% of the house for example only has say 20% so that he doesn't have to give up half his pension and retains all of it. Ok that is not a pension sharing order but a monetary value has been assigned to the pension and ot has been considered in the overall split.

What is the exact wording on the order - we are only second guessing here.
Re: Pension sharing
davidterry - 10 January, 2018 10:23AM
>>I was ordered to pay her a lump sum by way of a pension share.

I am sorry but this is still as clear as mud. A court can order a pension share OR it can order the payment of a lump sum INSTEAD of a pension share. You seem to be confusing the two situations. My guess is (the figures are hypothetical) that you had a pension with a capital transfer value of £400K and your wife had a pension with a capital transfer value of £200K. Therefore the court ordered a pension share of £100K of your pension (ie is 33.33% of it) in favour of your wife so that you both end up with pensions of an equal capital transfer value - ie of £300K each. If that is what the court has done it has NOT ordered you to pay a lump sum.

On the figures above if you had been ordered to pay a lump sum you would have kept your pension with a capital transfer value of £400K, your wife would have kept her pension with a capital transfer value of £200K and you would have had to pay her separately a lump sum of £100,000 (which could come from a bank account, shares, equity or whatever but it would be £100K in cash).

That is the difference and you are conflating the two so that it is impossible to know what you mean.
Re: Pension sharing
Monty - 10 January, 2018 04:40PM
Although mine was an Army pension, it works in the same way as a CS one. And in my case it worked exactly as David describes. Both our pensions were valued (one Army, one CS, so no real money held anywhere) and the outcome was that I had to transfer to her a proportion of the CTV - the notional value. What actually happened was that the pension authority took that value off my notional pension capital and she became a scheme member in her own right, with a pension calculated on the notional capital which had been transferred. No real money changed hands, but my pension was reduced.
Re: Pension sharing
Rob Duh - 11 January, 2018 09:16PM
davidterry: If you’re confused how do you think I feel? My ex took action against me for financial remedy in the form of a pension sharing order. Under the “Orders” section of the Financisl Remedy Order it is simply listed as a Lump Sum Order with no additional specific information. The situation is exactly as you’ve described: values were placed on our respective pensions and because mine was higher than hers I was ordered to pay her a lump sum of half the difference. Whether or not this complies with your definition of pension sharing orders is irrelevant; my ex took action under the pension sharing order legislation and I was ordered to pay her a lump sum. Please desist from telling me I’m confused or conflating issues, I am not. I have stated clearly and concisely what happened. What I want to hear from you is any view you have on the legitimacy of the order issued against me given what I have said above about the unfunded nature of our pensions and whether those pensions can therefore be considered as marital assets. As you’ll be aware White v White and all other case law giving rise to the current legislation concerned the equitable sharing of cash or other investments held to provide future pensions. The current situation arose because some individuals attempted not to share “real” money and “real” assets and the legislation was introduced to stop that happening. Our pensions do not represent “real” or marital assets, as neither we nor our employers made any contributions to them, and therefore were not shareable under the legislation surely. Public sector pensions of the type we receive are paid out of government receipts and are not backed by any funded pensions scheme.

Monty: I suspect your pension was building up based on contributions you were making to a fund of some kind. That is now the norm across the public sector but was not the case for us. You will have been building a fund of wealth (as in White v White) which we did not build and no one built on our behalf. In my opinion therefore you clearly had a shareable marital asset just as if you’d put the money in a bank. If our circumstances had been the same I would not now be arguing this case. I did make a lump sum payment out of the cash that had been split equally leaving me with significantly less cash than her. As our pensions were valued by reference to our current income and the future period we are expected to receive it for I have effectively been ordered to pay her maintenance which she isn’t entitled to and which had been dismissed at a preliminary hearing.
Re: Pension sharing
HatMan - 12 January, 2018 08:02AM
I absolutely love the way you are asking a qualified solicitor to 'desist from telling you....' I think that nails the issue here - you are being told things that you don't want to hear or believe and will bang on until you get someone who agrees with your myopic and irrational view that civil service pensions have no tangible worth - let me give you a hypothetical situation -

Your Civil Service pension is the ONLY asset that exists - would it be fair for that to be shared in the event of divorce?
Re: Pension sharing
Willapp - 12 January, 2018 11:32AM
Quote
Rob Duh
Our pensions do not represent “real” or marital assets, as neither we nor our employers made any contributions to them, and therefore were not shareable under the legislation surely. Public sector pensions of the type we receive are paid out of government receipts and are not backed by any funded pensions scheme.

Why do you think it has no value? If a CTV has been calculated on your pension then it absolutely has a "value" - the CTV is the value. How or whether you paid contributions seems irrelevant to me. An analogy would be someone giving you a £200k sports car during the marriage and you expecting not to have to split this on divorce simply because you never paid anything for it! If it has a calculable value then it's a marital asset and will be split according to typical divorce rules.
Re: Pension sharing
davidterry - 12 January, 2018 12:13PM
>>I have stated clearly and concisely what happened.

No, you have not but I am not wasting any further time on this.
Re: Pension sharing
Rob Duh - 13 January, 2018 09:59AM
davidterry: I have answered your questions!
Re: Pension sharing
Rob Duh - 13 January, 2018 10:12AM
Will app: everything has a value or can have a value placed on it but a physical asset such as a car or a house or cash in a bank account is surely different to a value put on a future income stream. The question I put to HatMan earlier has still not been answered: if you had an income of £50k a year and were forecast to receive it for the next 20 years would that mean you had a shareable asset of £1,000,000? And if it did where would you get the £500k from to share on divorce? And surely taking a nominal value of something into account is fundamentally different to all the case law that gave rise to the current legislation?
Re: Pension sharing
HatMan - 13 January, 2018 11:00AM
I do not believe you when you say that you have to give £500K that you don't have - You have been ordered to share your pension , get over it.

Or if you DO have £500K knocking around you may have been ordered to hand that over in lieu of a pension share, one thing is certain you have NOT been ordered to hand over something that you do not have, and your protestations to the contrary are infuriating...I can quite understand why your ex wife wanted to divorce you if your incredible intransigence and inability to understand basic facts extend to your day to day behaviour. She is well rid of you.
Re: Pension sharing
Willapp - 13 January, 2018 03:10PM
Rob Duh Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> The question I put to HatMan earlier has
> still not been answered: if you had an income of
> £50k a year and were forecast to receive it for
> the next 20 years would that mean you had a
> shareable asset of £1,000,000?

YES! Just because you can't hold it in your hand or spend it right now, it is absolutely, 100% still an "asset" because it is something you are guaranteed to receive. I am no solicitor but it seems likely to me that you've been given a pension-sharing order which means you have to transfer the agreed sum *from your pension fund* into your ex wife's name.

I would be amazed if they have ordered you to pay your ex a lump sum unless you had shown you have that kind of money sitting around, and even then I don't believe that is the default scenario for pension splitting - you would need to have proposed a lump sum payment in lieu of splitting the pension fund.

I am really not sure where the confusion is but if you still think what I - and many others here - have said is wrong, you need to pay a solicitor to review the court document and explain it to you in a way that you understand.
Re: Pension sharing
HatMan - 13 January, 2018 03:31PM
One would imagine that after receiving the same advice from various contributors on here ( including a solicitor ) Rob would get the message....but I suspect that he still doesn't get it and wants the law changed to suit him.
Re: Pension sharing
Andyk - 13 January, 2018 04:29PM
What other assets were you sharing? There must be something if you have been been ordered to pay a lump sum rather than pay her part of your pension income. Have you kept the house perhaps and been ordered to pay the lump sum from the equity. It would either be that and keep you full pension, or have the pension scheme pay you less and some to her.
Re: Pension sharing
Monty - 16 January, 2018 03:17PM
No, mine was non-contributory - as all military pensions are.
Re: Pension sharing
Rob Duh - 24 January, 2018 08:21AM
Definitely not an asset- it’s unfunded. The value attributed to it is simply the total income I will receive over the next 20 years. So having had her claim for maintenance turned down at an earlier hearing being ordered to make a pension share out of my future income is in effect awarding her maintenance by another means. That’s not the law and is not how the law was intended to be based on the case law that preceded it. All our real assets were shared equally. The law doesn’t need changing it just needs to be applied correctly by judges who have far too much power to make decisions based on their own beliefs and prejudices.
Re: Pension sharing
Andyk - 24 January, 2018 08:57AM
Good luck with your appeal.
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