The divorce rate in the over 60s continues to increase and over the past few decades thousands of women have divorced when in their sixties or older. Many of them have missed out on valuable state pension incomes due to a complex and little understood system.
It has been estimated that some women will have lost more than £50,000 of income over their lifetimes. This applies to women who reached state pension age before 6 April 2016. In those cases if they divorce or were divorced after state pension age they are entitled to substitute their ex husband’s National Insurance contributions for her own up to the date of their divorce.
Can women over sixty claim pension income on their ex-husband’s National Insurance contributions?
If their ex-husband has a full NI record and they don’t have that, they can simply claim the extra provision from the State at no cost to themselves or their ex spouse. The problem is that many women do not know about this additional provision that could be claimed.
How can women claim for additional pension income?
It must be stressed that this additional pension can only be claimed by those women who reached state pension age before 6 April 2016 – after that time no such provision exists and they are dependent on their own National Insurance contributions to determine their state pension income. In these cases there is even more need to take expert advice on divorce as the lack of a full state pension should be factored into the overall financial claims that a woman brings within divorce proceedings. This lack of income could be compensated by a pension sharing order relating any non state pension provision their spouse has or additional capital or maintenance.
The receipt of a full state pension is a surprisingly valuable benefit which should never be ignored in divorce settlements. We are well placed to advise you on all the options there are to address this important point. It has been estimated that the capital worth of a full state pension is in excess of £300,000, so this is a vital consideration for divorcing women who are often short of National Insurance contributions due to not having worked full time or at all.
At Stephens Scown we are well versed in the complicated area of pensions and divorce and are able to offer advice on all aspects of this issue. We have established links with actuaries and other specialist advisers to enable us to offer a full service in this area.