Empirical and anecdotal evidence has demonstrated the need for a guide to pensions on divorce for the benefit of practitioners and the divorcing public, it being a complex field and there being scant guidance from case law.
The Pension Advisory Group (PAG) was convened inmid-2017 with the purpose of producing a good practice guide for lawyers and financial experts about the issues relating to pensions on divorce. It is a multi-disciplinary group of judges, academics, actuaries, pension advisors, amediator, family lawyers, including solicitors and barristers, and pensions lawyers, all of whom have experience in the field of pensions on divorce.
It includes representatives of the Association of District Judges, Institute and Faculty of Actuaries, Resolution, the Law Society, the Family Law Bar Association and the Family Justice Council. A full list of members is given below. The project has the support of the Family Justice Council and the President of the Family Division, and is partially funded by the Nuffield Foundation.
Since its inception, PAG has deliberated and invited feedback from practitioners on the issues to be addressed. It has produced two draft reports for consultation at http://www.nuffieldfoundation.org/pensions-divorce-interdisciplinary-working-group, held focus groups with family lawyers and pension experts, conducted an online survey and given presentations at numerous events around England and Wales. PAG is very grateful to all those who have participated in these exercises. They have provided invaluable insights into day to day practice.
The group has now reached the stage of analysing all the feedback and discussing revisions to the final, combined, professional guide. A key message from lawyers was the need for clearer, simpler reports and guidance on when they are required; a key message from pension experts was that lawyers seek earlier financial advice and limit their questions of the expert to the minimum necessary. For both lawyers and experts, offsetting was identified as the most potentially problematic area, particularly in the smaller and mid-value cases.
Our target date for publication of the final guide is now 31st March 2019. The Family Justice Council and Advice Now (Law for Life) have also offered assistance in producing a much-simplified guide for non-specialists and the divorcing public. The target date for on-line publication of this guide is the end of June 2019.
Who we are
The membership of PAG (listed alphabetically in each category) currently comprises:
Co-Chairs: Mr Justice Francis, His Honour Judge Edward Hess