Divorce can have a significant impact on your finances, including your pensions. The way divorce affects your State Pension depends on two things. Your State Pension age and which type of State Pension you’re entitled to. There are two types of State Pension: the old State Pension and the new State Pension.
Divorce and the old State Pension
The basic State Pension’s based on your National Insurance contributions. Your ex-spouse or civil partner can’t receive any of this money in a divorce.
However, the additional State Pension’s based on your earnings. Your ex-spouse or civil partner could receive some of this during a divorce if the court orders it.
Divorce and the new State Pension
The new State Pension applies to people who reached or will reach their State Pension age on or after 6 April 2016. It’s based on your National Insurance contributions. Your ex-spouse or civil partner cannot receive any of this money in a divorce. There are different rules if you have a protected payment in place.
What’s a protected payment?
If you qualify for the new State Pension, you’ll get what’s called a ‘starting amount’. Your National Insurance record before 6 April 2016 determines your starting amount. If your starting amount’s more than the full new State Pension, you’ll have a protected payment. The court could order that your ex-spouse or civil partner receive some of this, unless you’ve remarried or entered into another civil partnership.
Wondering how your relationship impacts your personal finances? Listen to episode 14 of The Pension Confident Podcast and hear from our guests as they discuss cohabitation, common law marriage, divorce and more. You can also watch the episode on YouTube or read the full transcript.
As always with investments, your capital is at risk. The value of your investment can go down as well as up, and you may get back less than you invest. This information should not be regarded as financial advice.
Last edited: 09-08-2023