This blog is intended to encourage an exchange of ideas and promote debate about the financial issues that arise in a relationship breakdown. The concept is to create a platform for discussion that is not available elsewhere. Aimed mainly at professionals working in this area; lawyers, accountants, financial advisors and actuaries, it is also a potential source of information for the general public.

In our experience there is a significant variance in how professionals handle pension assets in divorce, with little consensus on which methods give the best outcome. We feel this is due in part to a lack of centralised knowledge and debate on what can be a complex issue. We intend to address this by posting our original articles on key subjects, as well as those contributed by others. Our intention is to post quality, discussion-worthy topics at least once a month, or more often if the need arises.

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Public sector pensions - CEV problems - progress at last?

Contrary to what we are being told by the various pension scheme call-centres, it would appear that the public sector schemes have now received the revised calculation factors. The evidence is sparse and of course the situation varies from scheme to scheme.

Some schemes have apparently lifted the CEV calculation embargo and others are in the process of updating their systems. Regrettably, we cannot yet say when this will translate into scheme members receiving their valuations.

It should not now be too much longer before the essential calculation factors are available and work can recommence on cases that have been held up by this sorry affair. Our view is that it is too early to say when completely normal service will be resumed, so it would not be advisable to plan hearings and other case landmarks purely on the strength of what we know.

Probably the most frequently asked question we have been asked over the last few months is when the current situation will be resolved. We still cannot give any clear answers on time scales but if we can assist in any other way, please do contact us. [info_at_bdm-mail.com, tel 0845 838 2551]

Overall there is now at least a glimmer of light at the end of what has been a particularly murky tunnel.

Posted on Tuesday, January 17, 2012 by Registered CommenterThe Ancillary Actuary | Comments1 Comment

Reader Comments (1)

You may like to be informed about a rather alarming administration glitch in AFPS pension credits I have been informed about (I learnt about this today on my return from holiday). One of my AFPS pension sharing cases resulted in a PSO made on 13 September 2011 and implemented with an effective date of 12 October and a valuation date of 25 October 2011. The implementation letter to the pension credit member was sent out under the new procedures on 13 February, which I have just seen.

The letter says clearly that the credit benefits are payable from age 65, and in no circumstances payable before then. Rather alarming for a 50-year-old spouse (and for me having made calculations to equalise retirement incomes from age 55).

I therefore telephoned SPVA today, who were very helpful. They confirmed that the credit was indeed payable on application from any age from 55, with early retirement reduction, as are all AFPS pension credits since April 2009, and therefore that the letter was in error. They further advised that the procedure to correct this was for her to write a letter under their formal complaints rule, asking for confirmation of the actual early retirement provisions. I asked the man at SPVA to inform his superiors and get their procedures corrected as soon as possible – presumably the error happened in the rush to re-start CETV and divorce processes. Let’s see what happens.

Geoffrey Wilson
Partner, Excalibur Actuaries
March 26, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterGeoffrey Wilson

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