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Pensions on separation and divorce

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/member civil partner/member qualified cohabitant. Alternatively, if the pension adjustment order is made in favour of the dependent spouse/civil partner/qualified cohabitant (rather than for the benefit of a dependent child) they may elect to establish an independent benefit instead.

A transfer payment is then applied (in either the same scheme or another pension arrangement) to provide independent benefits for the dependent spouse/civil partner/qualified cohabitant.

Agreement of trustees to the establishment of an independent benefit is required where occupational pension schemes are involved. No agreement is required where it has been established under a personal pension or a PRSA.

In a defined benefit scheme the transfer amount is calculated by reference to the member spouse's/member civil partner's/member qualified cohabitant’s salary at the date the transfer is calculated. The non-member spouse/non-member civil partner/non-member qualified cohabitant does not get the benefit of any salary increases (and equally does not suffer any salary decreases) the member spouse/member civil partner/member qualified cohabitant receives between the date of the transfer amount and the date the member spouse/member civil partner/member qualified cohabitant retires, dies or leaves service (whichever is the earlier).