Divorce delays for teachers and NHS staff due to pension recalculations

During the recalculation of the public sector pensions, divorcing teachers and NHS staff face delays due to their financial settlements, as reported by the BBC.

The Treasury promised a solution by summer after announcing the delay in March. The BBC states that “although only teachers and NHS workers are currently affected, police officers, firefighters and armed forces personnel are expected to be next in line”.

Figures from earlier this month revealed that 60% of adults in England and Wales would think about divorce differently now compared to a year ago, with over half (57%) stating that they would consider postponing divorce or dissolution as a result of the current economic climate.

In terms of financial payments, almost half (43%) of adults in England and Wales would not expect to split pensions payments in divorce or dissolution settlements.

However, the figures from November last year revealed a 9.6% rise in divorces between 2020 and 2021. There were 103,592 divorces granted in England and Wales in 2020, rising to 113,505 in 2021.

In the same article, James Brien, from Easy Online Divorce, said:

“It began with a couple of teachers who told us they couldn’t provide their pension figures because there was an embargo.

The phones have been ringing non-stop as more and more people have become aware of this massive problem.

For most couples, pensions are the biggest asset they have after their home, so this delay creates a huge amount of unnecessary stress and uncertainty.

It is possible to divorce without agreeing on finances, but it’s risky, especially with pensions, because you will lose any entitlement to a widow/widower’s pension rights or benefits after completing the divorce.”

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