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Could Your Divorced Spouse Still Receive Your Pension?

Do you know who will inherit your pension when you die? Do you know how many retirement policies you have and where all your paperwork is? Have you ever updated an "expression of Wishes" form?

Figures recently realeased show that more than 750,000 savers are at risk of leaving their pension to the wrong person, such as a former boyfriend or an ex-wife, simply because they have failed to update paperwork after they have split up.

Pension Schemes typically have an "expression of wishes" form that allow members to name the person they want their benefits to go to when they die.
This beneficiary, can be anybody who is designated at the time and does not need to be a current spouse or partner but indeed, may be a partner at the time, a friend, a flatmate, or somebody with whom the person lived with decades ago.

The Department for Work and Pensions also estimates that the average worker may accrue as many as eleven policies during their career, many of which are often forgotten about particularly, where addresses have changed. If however the information is not updated, then it is still prefectly legitimate for the original named beneficiary to claim.

This will inevitably cause particular problems following on from a divorce where, people originally notified a pension scheme they wanted a payment after their death to go to a first spouse but then they subsequently divorce, remarry or form a new partnership.

Whilst trustees should make an effort to be properly advised about the contents of the deceased's Will, and try to speak to colleagues, family and friends, in many cases often the appropriate people cannot be contacted so the pension fund may then still go to an ex-partner, when the deceased may have wished to make provision for a present partner or indeed a child or children not born when the original provision was made.

There are many disputes in Family Law involving significant pension funds where potential recipients, such as competing ex-spouses, are in dispute. There has also been a significant increase in such disputes in recent years.

Come to us at Absolute Mediation for expert Family Law advice and guidance on how  to avoid being involved in a dispute or indeed, to properly safeguard your estate.


Also for help in finding any lost pensions and to enable us to arrange appropriate expression of wishes form.

Support can also be provided by the Government's Service. However, we can also assist in helping you secure expert pension advice on breakdown of relationship and indeed, arrange for any appropriate report which will be provided from highly qualified Pension Actuaries.

The rise in the number of divorces, remarriages and couples co-habiting, plus a general apathy towards dealing with pensions when retirement is decades away, mean many people could inadvertently be handing valuable benefits to former partners and making significant financial provision to those they no longer wish to benefit.

  Seek independent legal advice from our Family Law Specialists now if this is an area where we can offer you help and support.

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