DAVID SALTER, Joint National Head of Family Law, Mills & Reeve LLP
Public sector pensions cover around 20% of the total workforce in the UK. This translates to 12.5 million members comprising 5.4 million active members, 3.9 million members with pensions in payment and 3.2 million members with deferred pension entitlements. Their importance to the family lawyer cannot, therefore, be underestimated. One over-arching feature of public sector pensions is their significant value in relation to the member's lifetime annual earnings. These schemes are set up by statute (in particular, the Superannuation Act 1972) and statutory instrument rather than trust deeds and rules.