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WS v WS: Pensions experts' review

Date:5 FEB 2016
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The case for pension experts

In the recent case of WS v WS [2015] EWHC 3941 (Fam) a judgment was made to offset the value of a defined benefit pension scheme using the Duxbury formula. The decision was made without reference to an expert pension report the husband's request for one having been refused. How might the input of a pension expert have influenced the decision-making process in this case?

Expert pension and divorce knowledge

Understanding the reasons for offsetting rather than pension sharing should play a significant part in evaluating a pension offset amount. In the case of WS v WS the reason for offsetting was due to an understanding that pension sharing would take the husband well over the Lifetime Allowance with severe taxation consequences.

In this case both the husband's defined contribution plan (valued at £970 696) and the wife's defined benefit pension (valued at £3 064 154) had both been crystallised; tax-free lump sums had already been paid. A pension expert would have highlighted to the court that the reason for avoiding a sharing order appears on the facts disclosed in the judgment to be specious....

Read the full article here.