Public Sector Pension: Understanding Pension Rights in Divorce

Considering a divorce as a public sector worker? This guide breaks down your options for protecting your pension or sharing your partner’s, ensuring your interests are safeguarded throughout the process.

Jul 13, 2023 | Blogs, Divorce, Women&Divorce


Your pension is a big deal, and we get it. During a divorce, your pensions may be your biggest asset after the family home. Whether you’re aiming to protect your pension or thinking about sharing your partner’s, this guide is designed to explain your options.

Understanding Your Pension Rights

Divorce can be a complex process, and for public sector workers, it can bring additional considerations, particularly concerning pensions. This guide aims to provide a roadmap for those in the public sector who are going through a divorce and wish to protect their pension or consider sharing their partner’s public sector pension.

Safeguarding Your Public Sector Divorce Pension

Pensions are often one of the most significant assets in a divorce. As a public sector worker, your civil service pension may be part of your financial settlement during your divorce – through a Pension Sharing Order, Pension Attachment Order or Earmarking Order. You can also find out more information on the Civil Service Pensions website

If you’re looking to protect your public sector divorce pension, it’s important to get a clear understanding of your pension’s value and how it could be divided in a divorce.  Firstly, ensure you have all the necessary information about your pension scheme. This includes understanding the type of scheme you’re in, the rules of the scheme, and your pension’s value (not solely how much you’ve contributed over the years, but understanding the projected value of your pension at retirement.)

Sharing Your Partner’s Public Sector Divorce Pension

If you’re considering sharing your partner’s public sector divorce pension, you’ll need to understand pension sharing rules. In a divorce, you may be entitled to a portion of your partner’s pension. This is known as a pension sharing order.

Understanding How Pensions Can Be Divided in Divorce

In a divorce, pensions can be divided in several ways:

  1. Pension Sharing: This gives a percentage of one person’s pension to the other person.
  2. Pension Offsetting: This involves balancing the value of the pension against other assets in the divorce settlement. For example, one person might keep their pension, while the other person receives a greater share of the property. 
  3. Pension Attachment (Earmarking): This is where some, or all, of the pension income is paid to the ex-spouse when the pension starts being paid out. 

The right choice will depend on your individual circumstances. It’s important to seek legal and financial advice to understand the best option for you.

    Expert Legal Advice for Public Sector Workers

    SKB Law is an award-winning family law firm founded by Sarah Khan-Bashir MBE. We understand the complexities of public sector divorce pensions. Our team of experienced family law solicitors can provide the guidance and support you need to navigate this process. Whether you’re looking to protect your pension or considering sharing your partner’s, we’re here to help you understand your rights and options. 

    Our unbundled legal service is a flexible option that allows you to choose and pay for only the services you need, when you need them. This can be particularly beneficial when dealing with financial settlements in a divorce. We can offer expert legal guidance on the process, your rights, and the implications of different settlement options. If you’re considering representing yourself, our unbundled services can provide targeted advice where you need it most. By paying only for the services you need, you can manage your budget effectively while still benefiting from professional legal support. 

    We hope you found this post helpful. Please remember, this does not replace legal advice. Contact our team to explore your options and understand the costs involved. Thank you for reading. If you found this guide useful, please share it with others who might benefit from it. For more assistance, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at SKB Law.

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