The Court has three options when considering pensions. The first is known as ‘off-setting’ which means that the Court will look at the Cash Equivalent Transfer Values (or ‘CETV’) of the pensions and decides that the person without significant pensions should receive a balancing capital payment in from some other source, eg savings or the family home.
The second option is a ‘pension sharing order’. This means that part or all of an existing pension (or more than one fund) is divided and and passed over to the other person which can either be invested with the same pension company or invested in a new pension.
The third option, which is not often used, is ‘pension attachment’, also known as earmarking. The Court has the power to order that a proportion of a pension, once received both as to the annual income and the lump sum, should be paid to the other spouse. The Court has the power to order that a proportion of any death in service benefits should be paid to the other spouse as well.