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Pensions on separation and divorce

Contingent benefits

Contingent benefits are the benefits payable if a scheme member dies during employment (or self-employment) to which a pension arrangement relates. The definition includes lump sum benefits and pensions payable to dependants. A PAO granted in respect of contingent benefits ceases on the remarriage of the spouse/civil partner/qualified cohabitant in whose favour it was granted.

The court will determine whether a pension adjustment order should be made in relation to the contingent benefits and the provisions of the order.

Specifically, the order will detail the person or persons in whose favour it is made (this may be the dependent spouse/civil partner/qualified cohabitant and/or a person representing the children) and the percentage of each element of the contingent benefits that is to be payable to such person(s).

On the death of the member spouse/member civil partner/member qualified cohabitant during the period of employment (or self-employment) to which the pension scheme relates, the percentage of contingent benefits as specified in the order must be paid to the appropriate person(s).

A PAO with regard to contingent benefits would cease once the member spouse/member civil partner/member qualified cohabitant leaves the employment to which the scheme on which the order has been made relates.