One of the most intractable problems in divorce proceedings is valuing the pension rights and expectations of the parties.
Reform of the law through a system of pension splitting on divorce has now been recommended by the Pensions Management Institute (PMI) in its 1993 report Pensions and Divorce, and by the pension law review committee chaired by Professor Goode in its subsequent report Pension Law Reform, produced in September 1993.
The PMI report suggested that the best way to value pensions was by using transfer values. This is backed up by the decision in H v. H (Financial Provision: Capital Allowance) (1993) 2 FLR 335, that reference should be made to pension rights which accrued during the marriage.
In order to assist practitioners in the meantime, the family law committee thought it might be useful to have to hand a form of letter of instruction to an actuary to value the pension interests of the parties together with a questionnaire for use under FPR 2.63 (as amended).
An actuary should only be instructed where the use of transfer values is not thought to be appropriate. In cases where an expert accountant has already been instructed, consideration should be given to instructing him or her to value any pension rights.
The first draft of these documents has appeared in the Gazette (see Gazette, 13 January 1993, p. 34). The draft set out below has been amended in the light of comments received on that first draft. These documents do not purport to be conclusive or a standard,
* Reprinted by permission of the Law Society, from The Law Society’s Gazette, July, 6 (1994).