What happens to my Fund benefits if I get divorced

If you divorce, a Court may decide that some or all of your Fund benefits should be shared with your ex-spouse / ex-civil partner as part of the settlement.

Please note

The Trustee does not offer membership to an ex-spouse / ex-civil partner if a pension sharing order or agreement is made. Your ex-spouse / ex-civil partner will need to transfer out their pension credit to another qualifying arrangement.

The legal decision may ‘earmark’ a percentage of your benefits on retirement or death to be paid to your ex-spouse / ex-civil partner, or the Court may make a ‘pension sharing order’ – where your pension benefits will be split between you and your ex-spouse / ex-civil partner. Your own Fund benefits will then be reduced by an amount declared in the Court order, and your ex-spouse / ex- civil-partner will receive the value of what is due to them which must be transferred out of the Fund into an approved pension arrangement selected by them.

A pension debit will be applied to your benefits which will reduce them by the percentage or amount in the order or agreement.

This timeline:

  • gives you an idea of WTW’s typical administration steps and how any sharing arrangements are made, if applicable. In particular it shows which documents you need to provide when, and how to provide them.
  • assumes that WTW get all the correct paperwork they need from you once available, and it is completed and submitted in the format required.

Actions you need to take

Review your court letters and details on sharing your pension with your ex-spouse / civil partner
Check your court letters for specific details on what you need to ask for.

Call WTW on 01737 227549 or email at GPFpensions@willistowerswatson.com

(you will need to pass security checks:

By phone: ensure that you have your full National Insurance (NI) number, date of birth and full address that WTW hold on our files)

By email: ensure that you include the last four characters of your NI number, month of birth and postcode that WTW hold on our files)

What WTW will do

Receive information on pension sharing
WTW will send you a pack that includes –

  • A form asking your ex-spouse / ex-civil partner for information which they need to complete and return via post to WT; and
  • A transfer value of their “share” of your Fund benefits will be included in the pack - NOTE this value is not guaranteed and we will calculate it again if you are required to proceed with a pension sharing order or agreement.

You will receive the pack from 5 10 working days after contacting WTW.

How long will it take?

You will receive the pack from 5 10 working days after contacting WTW.

Actions you need to take

Send Court documents
If a pension sharing order or arrangement is to be applied to your Fund benefits, please send your Decree Absolute, Pension Sharing Order and Pension Sharing Annex to WTW via post (please check your court correspondence for the necessary documents)

What WTW will do

Send transfer out request forms to your ex-spouse / ex-civil partner
WTW will send transfer out request forms to your ex- spouse / ex-civil partner. (These will need to be completed and posted back to WTW).

How long will it take?

Your spouse / ex- civil partner will receive a transfer out request form within 5 10 working days.

Actions your ex-spouse / ex-civil partner needs to take

Complete transfer out request forms
Your ex-spouse / ex-civil partner, and the pension provider of the receiving scheme need to complete and post the transfer out request forms back to WTW.

What WTW will do

Complete the pension sharing order
Once WTW receive all the forms from your ex-spouse / ex-civil partner, they will complete the pension sharing order which will include recalculating the transfer value.

How long will it take?

The pension sharing order will be completed no longer than 4 months after receiving all of the required forms from your ex-spouse / ex-civil partner and receiving scheme.

Check list

WTW can process your pension share faster if you and your ex-spouse / ex-civil partner complete the checklist below:

  • Fully complete the forms,
  • Provide correct information,
  • Provide WTW with the correct Court documentation, and/or
  • Provide up-to-date ID documentation.