UK - Government predictions on pension sharing on divorce transfer values are about a 12th of actual figures, Scottish Equitable claims.
The firm’s figures are based on the first bout of transfers to come to light since the regulations came into force last November.
DSS figures estimated an average pension sharing transfer value of £50,000.
But this is considerably less than the pension sharing values obtained by Scottish Equitable.
Pensions development manager Margaret Craig said: “The actual figures we have got as a result of pension sharing transfers are more in the region of £600,000 rather in the region of £50,000.
“One of our pension transfer values for a SIPP is between £900,000 and £1m.”
Craig added that the current delay in receiving pension transfers was due to a lengthy four month standing order period which takes place after divorce cases go to court.
But Simmons and Simmons partner Monica Ma said the new regulations had not yet had a major impact. Ma said: “We are seeing pension sharing cases dribbling in but not in huge numbers.”
She added: “The new regulations will see pension divisions rather than pension splitting and pension earmarking – where part of the pension is earmarked for the spouse.”
Draft regulations to enable pension sharing on divorce were first published in a consultation document by the then pensions minister Jeff Rooker and later implemented by current Department for Work and Pensions secretary Alistair Darling as part of the Welfare Reform and Pensions Act 1999.
It set out that:
• Pension rights should be treated in a way that provided flexibility and choice for divorcing couples and the courts in reaching the fairest overall settlement of assets in each divorce case.• A more secure retirement income for those receiving a share of pension rights.• Increasing the opportunity for divorcing couples to achieve complete financial independence through a ‘clean break’ settlement.
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