Will I have to wait until I'm 65 to get a share of my ex-husband's pension?

Tracey Moloney
22 May 2017


I am in the early stages of divorcing my husband. He is in receipt of a military pension of quite considerable value as he was a very senior rank. My solicitor has told me I am not entitled to any percentage of this pension until I reach retirement age of 65. I’m 60 years old now.

I know pensions in divorce are complicated, but this seems very unfair. Can you confirm if that is the case?

RT/via email


Typically, when divorce proceedings are under way we draft a consent order to navigate the finances. Pension shares are attached to the orders nominating a percentage to be removed from the husband’s pension and placed in the wife’s pension plan.

In this case, the pension is already in drawdown and therefore it is difficult to remove a percentage and allocate it to your pension. However, this does not prevent you from receiving your fair share of the matrimonial assets including the pension.

If there are other assets within the marriage, then you could receive a larger proportion of these. Alternatively, you could be awarded periodical payments, allowing you to receive a payment from your husband that would take into account his income, including his pension.

Tracey Maloney is head of family law at Co-op Legal Services