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Divorce or Dissolution of Civil Partnership

In the event of divorce, nullity, judicial separation or dissolution of civil partnership, a court may order a pension scheme to pay all or part of a member's entitlement to pension to his/her former spouse or civil partner.  This could be in accordance with an "earmarking" order or a "pension sharing" order.

An earmarking order could apply to all or part of your retirement pension, potential lump sum, or possibly your death grant.  If you have already retired, the order may require immediate payment of pension to your former spouse or civil partner.  If you are an active or deferred member the order would not have effect until the benefits become payable.

A pension sharing order would have immediate effect.  The court would instruct that a percentage of the value of your benefits should be deducted to provide "pension credit rights" for your former spouse or civil partner.  The pension credit rights would remain in the Firefighters' Pension Scheme until he/she is eligible to draw them (at age 60).  The pension credit can be commuted to provide a lump sum, or would be paid as a death grant if the former spouse or civil partner (known as a "pension credit member") dies before age 60.  It cannot be transferred to another pension arrangement.

The court will normally expect the parties to provide information about the current and prospective value of pension rights together with the rules of the pension scheme(s) in which those rights are held.  Your pensions administrator would provide this information for you or can give you further general information on the impact divorce/dissolution may have on pension rights.


Link to Scottish Government Website