Nov 27, 2015
15 commentsCategory: Offsetting
A glass shoe? There was a paper that was presented at the FLBA (Family Law Bar Association) Conference in Cardiff on October 21st 2015 which addressed the ‘Cinderella’ of financial remedies on divorce. This is the offsetting of pensions against non-pension assets. Now you understand why I used ‘a glass shoe’ as a reference. Who contributed to the paper? The paper contains contributions of 14 of the leading pension experts who all discussed their different approaches towards pension offset valuations, based on 3 simple scenarios: a small, middle and bigger money case. The authors analyse the reasons for their differences and highlight some of the key factors to consider when offsetting, concluding that there is a pressing need not only for more interdisciplinary discussion between lawyers and pension experts, but also for judicial guidance. Why you need to read the paper now The paper questions how such a substantial divergence in approach to offsetting could have continued for so long, unchecked by the courts. The paper highlights the dangers of using the cash equivalent as the starting point for pension valuation, and the importance of seeking financial advice and/or instructing an expert, in all but the most straightforward, defined contribution pension cases. The authors critically explore the use of the Duxbury algorithm as a method of valuing a pension offset, and it’s somewhat unrealistic rates of return, the lack of account for administration costs and the differences between earned and pension income, concluding that Duxbury may not be appropriate in the pension context. The inclusion of the utility discount in pension offsetting is discussed, having elicited a lively exchange of views amongst the... read more
65 commentsCategory: In The News
Simply put, legislation has been published to close a loophole which enabled public sector workers transferring their pensions overseas. The Unfunded Public Service Defined Benefits Schemes (Transfers) Regulations 2015 have now been published. A loophole had been discovered which allowed unfunded public sector pension members to transfer their pension funds to an overseas pensions and access their pensions flexibly. Well that loophole has now been closed with this piece of legislation. You can read more about it in depth here. Well this tidies matters up and we now know that no public sector pension can be transferred.... read more
Aug 26, 2015
11 commentsCategory: In The News
Aug 26, 2015 | In The News Be sure to keep that wooden spoon in the cupboard! It all started off when a 41 year old mother, who cannot be named (I wonder why), was going through a divorce. In the settlement, the matrimonial home was to be sold and the wife was suppose to receive a lot more than the husband from the sale. But I guess the wooden spoon was not happy with this. There was an incident involving the mother and their 13 year old daughter, which involved a wooden spoon. And because of this wooden spoon, she is now losing around £44,000 of the settlement she was to receive. You must be wondering what the wooden spoon actually did. Well, the court has just referred to it as an ‘incident’ that the court cannot release details of. Back in the day, I got a right beating from all kinds of utensils from the kitchen. Because of the wooden spoon, the father can now appeal to the court because the mother was prosecuted for a criminal offence involving the wooden spoon. The judge said: ‘About six weeks after the [financial] order was made there was what I will call “an incident” between the wife and their then 13-year-old daughter.’ According to documents supplied by the wife’s solicitors ‘it involved no more than the wife and a wooden spoon, with no physical contact with the child’. Because of the wooden spoon incident, both the 13 year old daughter and their other 10 year old daughter have decided to live with their father instead, which will allow him to appeal the order. The moral of... read more
Aug 20, 2015
17 commentsCategory: In The News
Aug 20, 2015 | In The News Imagine if you were going through a divorce and the court asked you to give all your assets to your ex-spouse. Well that’s what pretty much happened to Essam Aly. You might be asking yourself how could something like this happen? Well let’s first establish who Mr. Aly is. Essam Aly is an anesthetist who was living in Burton-on-Trent. His wife Enas and their 2 children were left by him in 2011. After this, he had not paid any contribution towards child maintenance or any kind of support towards his family since he moved to Bahrain in 2012. Well it goes without saying, Bahrain is out of reach of the British authorities. So the court agreed that the family should receive all of the UK assets (in this case £550,000) since they were dealing with a “serious defaulter”. The justification for this was that the court had not expected any further payments from Mr. Aly. So it’s basically a lump sum for the wife to compensate for past and future child support. This case may offer food for thought for parents who try and avoid paying child maintenance, although the kind of outcome in this case is highly unlikely to happen again. It must be highlighted that the more child support payments missed, the more likely the absent parent will lose up-front in... read more
Jun 26, 2015
From time to time, we have been involved with pension sharing orders that go into the millions of pounds and often get involved in multi-million pound settlements. But what about £5,000,000,000?
Jun 17, 2015
The April reforms have put a lot of pressure on pension companies to deal with clients who want to cash in their pensions. But unfortunately some companies have been given bad exposure in the news, in this case, Prudential.
Apr 29, 2015
commentsCategory: pension sharing
I am often asked which pensions are potentially the most risky when it comes to pensions on divorce and particularly, pension sharing. Another common question is at what value can all pensions be ignored?
Apr 29, 2015
I’m sure you must have heard by now about the Dale Vine and Kathleen Wyatt divorce case. Dale Vince, a multi-millionaire, had stated that when his wife had asked for a financial settlement of £1.9 million, it was like “cashing in a very old lottery ticket”.
Mar 04, 2015
Child Maintenance has just gotten harder to avoid.
Jan 29, 2015
A new project to provide legal advice to the citizens of Greater Manchester