Pension equalisation in the event of a divorce refers to regulations that equalise entitlements, also known today as entitlements, due to old-age provision or reduced earning capacity. The basis for the payment of a future retirement pension is particularly important in this context.
Principle of pension equalisation in the event of divorce
Pension equalisation following a divorce is based on the principle that the spouses can claim half of the pension entitlements earned during the marriage. In the event of divorce, the spouses are therefore generally entitled to equalisation of entitlements. This relates to the period between the date of marriage and the date on which the application for divorce is served on the respondent. After divorce, each spouse has their own entitlement to benefits from the pension providers involved. This is of great importance for a spouse who has taken care of the children during the marriage. This partner was often unable to provide any or only a reduced level of care. Complex demarcation issues can arise, for example, in connection with life insurance policies and direct insurance policies. Spouses who are (temporarily) working abroad also require competent advice from a specialist family law solicitor regarding pension equalisation. This advice can lead to the advising family law specialist advising against a divorce, especially in the case of older spouses, as this ultimately only relieves the pension insurer because comprehensive widow's and widower's pensions are lost.
Pension equalisation on retirement
However, there is often a need for further clarification in the area of pension equalisation when you reach retirement age, for example if part of the equalisation can only be carried out at this time.
Changes in the valuation or legal changes
The legal statute governing pension equalisation on the occasion of divorce is more than 40 years old. However, some of the methods were constitutionally questionable, so that the legislator carried out a fundamental reform with the creation of the Pension Equalisation Act.
It is important for clients to know that changes in the valuation of pension entitlements or legal changes may make it necessary to review the original decision on pension equalisation at a later date. In many cases in which company pensions were included in the pension equalisation, a claim for a completely new implementation of the pension equalisation may arise. It is the task of the family law specialists at our law firm to assess this.
Private pension scheme
The increasing importance of personal provision in old age and the diversity of pension models means that proceedings for pension equalisation in the event of divorce should be accompanied carefully and professionally. This also applies after the Pension Equalisation Act (VersorgungsausgleichsG) came into force.
Pension equalisation and agreements
Individual agreements between the spouses on pension equalisation are possible, but must be carefully considered. In particular, it is important to recognise and regulate the interactions of pension equalisation with equalisation of accrued gains and maintenance law. In addition, agreements must stand up to judicial review.
Specific questions can be clarified in a consultation with the lawyers and family law specialists at our law firm.