The Pensions Authority would like to place cookies on your computer to help us make this website better. To find out more about the cookies, see our Cookie Policy.

I accept cookies from this site You must tick the 'I accept cookies from this site' box to accept.

In order to personalise your content you must select all three options


Pensions on separation and divorce

The pension entitlements of you and your spouse arising from occupational or personal pension arrangements may be affected by separation or divorce.

If you or your spouse have been in a pension arrangement for some time, pensions could be a very significant part of your family assets.

If you have children or other dependants, you should also consider what would happen were you or your ex-spouse to die.

Pension rights cannot be shared out without a court order - a separation agreement cannot share out pension rights.

You should bear in mind that you and your dependants may have benefit entitlements from both your own arrangement, and your spouse's arrangement.

For more information see the Pensions Authority booklets 'A brief guide to the pension provisions of the Family Law Acts' and the 'Pensions on separation and divorce checklist'.

Family Law

The Family Law Act 1995 sets out the treatment of pensions in cases of judicial separation...

Splitting pension benefits

In recognising the value of pension benefits on separation or divorce, the court may require a proportion of your pension benefits to be paid to your spouse...

Pension adjustment orders (PAOs)

The court may serve a binding order, known as a a pension adjustment order on the trustees or provider of a pension arrangement...

Designated benefit

Where the court decides to make a PAO in relation to retirement benefits...

Retirement benefits

Retirement benefits are benefits payable to the member of the pension scheme on retirement or earlier withdrawal of service...

Payment of designated retirement benefit

Payment of the designated benefit would generally commence when the remainder of the retirement benefit starts to be paid to the member spouse...

Contingent benefits

Contingent benefits are the benefits payable if a scheme member dies during employment...

Civil partners and qualified cohabitants

The Civil Partnership and Certain Rights and Obligations of Cohabitants Act, 2010 entered into force on 1 January 2011...

Impact of death of a non-member

If a non-member who has been granted a designated benefit under a PAO dies...

Impact of death of member spouse

If a member dies (prior to any decision to transfer the designated benefit to another scheme or policy)...

Access to information

You are not automatically entitled to receive personal information on your spouse's pension benefits, although this will be provided to you if he or she consents...

Personalise now and find out more...

There is more information that you could learn about planning for retirement in relation to your specific situation.

But first you'll have to tell us more about yourself.