Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Armed Forces Pensions: A negligence claim waiting to happen


I received their Pension relief brief from Bradshaw Dixon Moore ('BDM') the other day. The subject was armed forces pensions.

Now, most divorce lawyers in this country know (or should know) that armed forces pensions require special consideration. In particular, you cannot safely rely upon the cash equivalent transfer value ('CETV'), which may seriously undervalue the pension. BDM give an extreme example of this from a recent case in which they valued a soldier's pension benefits at £1.3 million, whereas the CETV figure was only £600,000. The result of this, of course, is that if the CETV is used when implementing a pension share then the spouse of the scheme member is likely to receive substantially less than their entitlement. Clearly, relying on the CETV alone is a negligence claim waiting to happen.

Similar considerations apply to police and fire brigade pensions.

The moral then is simple: if you want to keep your indemnity premiums down, get your own valuation. See, for example, these services that BDM themselves offer.

Incidentally, if you haven't done so already I recommend signing up to Pension relief brief, which you can do here.

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