Read about how Investor Profile helped Sharon Kemp with the transfer of her ex-husband’s Pension assets to her new Pension during her divorce proceedings.
Sharon came to us in October 2014 during her divorce proceedings to ask for our help in transferring her share of her ex-husband’s Pension assets to a new Pension for her. She had been awarded a percentage of her ex-husband’s Pension, which she now needed to find a new home for. Although the paperwork was largely in place to proceed, the slight snag was that her solicitor had gone out of business during her divorce, which complicated matters for her to say the least.
Sharon needed to find a new provider for the Pension assets she had been awarded but also needed to negotiate with and handle her ex-husband’s Pension administrator herself as her solicitor was no longer available.
What unraveled as we worked to move her Pension assets over.
Initially we needed to address the issue of transfer fees. During a divorce our experience of helping clients is that professional fees become a significant part of the process. From our point of view (as financial planners), we want to ensure our client receives full value for money on any fees they pay. For the ones that need to be paid, it’s about paying them in the most efficient way. For Sharon, we suggested the admin fees being charged by her ex-husband’s Pension administrator should be taken from the Pension. This would save tax and hassle, and save her own cash reserves for her own immediate needs.
The Pension administrator initially suggested this was not possible so we contacted the administrator on her behalf, who, after several months of trying, finally agreed it could be done, as long as her ex-husband was happy to do it, which he was.
So the next stage of the process was really just to get the paperwork from the administrator and forward this to the new Pension company. However, having communicated with our client several times by phone and in writing, the Pension administrator then claimed not to have authority on file from Sharon to be able to communicate with her. So Sharon had to approach the Courts herself to request a new copy of the Pension Sharing Annex.
Having done this, the Pension administrator claimed the Pension Sharing Annex was not fully compliant due to some information missing and therefore the case was put on hold. So Sharon called the Court to request an amendment to the Annex, which they turned down. By now, we had arranged for Sharon to make her application to the new Pension provider who were ready to receive the cash. To relieve the stress (as a divorce in itself can be stressful enough), we emailed the court on Sharon’s behalf but again they refused. We were determined not to give up on our client receiving her money, so we sent a letter to the courts along with a copy of the Annex highlighting what the administrators were requiring and an explanation of her solicitor not being in business anymore. Finally, the courts sent the correct Annex and once again we could continue.
So our job was to liaise between Sharon, the Pension administrator and the new Pension provider in order to get each party the relevant paperwork they required. That sounds easy but to cut a very long story short it took around 14 months for this to happen.
Ordinarily our client would be forgiven for giving up. Sharon had considered giving it up completely because at times felt like there was just no solution to the endless problems she was facing. But with our encouragement and ongoing support, not to mention the many phone calls and letters to the courts and the Pension administrator on her behalf, between us we managed to get there in the end.
Sharon rightly felt that this was an important amount of money to her and more than anything was rightfully hers. We were more than happy to keep the case going for as long as it took to see the money come in for her.
Financial Position in 2016.
We are now in October 2016 and 21 months on from when Sharon first contacted us. We are extremely pleased to say that between Sharon, the new Pension provider and ourselves, we have managed to secure the Pension assets and these are happily sitting in her new Pension account.
We have a regular stream of clients in this position and because of this we are able to use our experience to help others that are going through a divorce and being awarded Pension assets just like Sharon. As mentioned before, it is stressful enough going through a divorce, so our job is really to make this small but important part of the process very easy for our clients.
The moral of the story, hire a solicitor that won’t go out of business during your divorce case, reach a fair settlement that’s been assessed from a future financial planning perspective, and get a good financial adviser to handle the post-divorce assets where they can be on your side to make sure you not only get what you have been awarded but also to ensure you make best use of it for your long term benefit.
For more information about this subject or for advice with regards to Financial Planning, please contact us on 01604 211234 or email@example.com