Is there a time limit on pension sharing orders?
During the divorce process, there are probably 101 aspects to sort out when it comes to splitting the financial assets. Yes, it can be daunting, but it certainly doesn’t have to be stressful. You may already be aware of a pension sharing order but are concerned about the time limits. With so much else going on, your life is probably being turned upside down, let alone thinking about the future of your pension and what you’re entitled to. To put your mind at ease, the answer is no, there is not a time limit on pension sharing orders.
You’ll be relieved to know that you don’t have to jump in with a pension discussion and you can even apply after your divorce has been finalised.
A pension sharing order and your divorce itself can actually be separated into two separate categories, so there is no need to panic at this stage.
The only thing that needs to be in place is evidence to show that your divorce proceedings have started and that there will be an end goal if there hasn’t already been one.
Even if in unfortunate circumstances that one of the party members passes away, the pension sharing order can still be processed and implemented. Again, proof that the divorce proceedings were occurring in the first place need to be documented as proof.
The only time constraints that will be present are those of the court order and trustees in charge of the pension sharing order. This actually differs in England and Wales in comparison to Scotland due to legislation differences. In England and Wales, the pension sharing order must be implemented within four months whereas Scotland this it two.
After the documents have all been received and finalised, the trustees must inform both parties within 21 days. This also needs to be within 7 days of the expiry limit set in place, as this gives a 7-day appeal process, or application to have the order reversed. For future reference, if the pensions sharing order needs to be reversed further down the line, it can be done via another court order but will be charged accordingly.
Before considering a pension sharing order, it is always advised to get in touch with a financial advisor to go over any time limits, firstly just for your peace of mind but also to inquire about the timeframe of your proceedings. Some divorces are lengthier than others, and with the right financial advice to hand, you will be able to proceed as smoothly as possible.
Even though there are no set time limits for completing your pension sharing order, it’s definitely something worth ticking off the list sooner rather than later. Even just to get your assets in order for one less thing to stress about. The closer you get to finalising your divorce is one step closer to a new chapter in your life.
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