Can my ex claim half my state pension after divorce?

Anyone reaching State Pension age after 6th April 2016 will be paid the ‘new’ State Pension. This means that their State Pension cannot be shared if their marriage or civil partnership ends. Although, if they have a ‘protected payment’, the court could order it to be shared with their spouse. A protected payment is an additional payment that someone might get on top of their full State Pension typically because their entitlement under the old rules was higher. Read more…

If you are concerned about your pension after you divorce and you require legal advice to understand your options, contact specialist family law solicitor Naheed Taj. Naheed is a highly acclaimed family solicitor with a successful track record in dealing with complex and challenging family law, divorce, and child cases.

For those born before 1953, who built up an entitlement under both the basic State Pension and additional Statement Pension, their State Pension will be based on the old rules. If someone has an additional State Pension, the court could order it to be shared if the relationship ends. These rights are lost if the person wishing to claim on their ex-spouses State Pension remarries.

What does the protected payment mean and who receives it?

If someone’s starting sum of State Pension is higher than the full new State Pension, they will receive an extra amount of money. This is the protected payment and is paid on top of the full new State Pension, not being lower than the pension they would have received under the old scheme.

What is the additional State Pension and who qualifies for it?

The additional State Pension is an extra sum of money some people receive on top of their basic pension entitlement if they are: a man born before 6th April 1951 and a woman born before 6th April 1953. If you qualify for the additional pension and get divorced, the court can decide that it should be shared as part of the financial settlement.

Can my ex claim on my National Insurance Contributions?

Divorced couples can use their former spouse or civil partner’s National Insurance contributions to increase their State Pension. This will not reduce the amount of your State Pension or the amount you will receive, but it will provide your ex with a higher level of basic State Pension that they would have been entitled to in their own right.

Your ex can do the following:

  • Use your National Insurance (NI) contribution record up to the date of the divorce
  • Use your record for the tax years up to the year the marriage ended. Men have been able to claim on their wife’s/civil partner’s record since 2010, although in practice most men won’t benefit from claiming because fewer women are entitled to the full basic pension.
  • If your ex-spouse/civil partner is using your NI record, you will not usually be informed because it won’t reduce the amount of State Pension you will receive. All your ex-spouse/civil partner will need is your NI number.

Your ex-spouse/civil partner cannot claim an additional State Pension based on your record, only the basic State Pension. However, as stated above, the additional State Pension is capable of being shared during a divorce.


When your ex can and can’t claim on your NI record

If your ex-spouse remarried before reaching State Pension age, they cannot claim on your NI contributions record. However, they can still claim a State Pension on your record if:

  • They remarried after reaching State Pension age, provided this was before 6th April 2016
  • They remarried before they reached State Pension age on or before 6th April 2016

Anyone who reaches State Pension age after the new system was introduced on 6th April 2016 cannot share their new State Pension when they divorce. Pensions are an important asset and may be considered as part of the overall settlement. You should always take independent legal and financial advice if your divorce involves dividing pension rights because it is an extremely complex area of law.

Find The Best Divorce & Family Lawyers Near You

We independently review and list the top divorce lawyers and family solicitors in the towns and cities near you. 100% free.

Find The Top Family Lawyers Near You

Noticed an error on this page or something broken? If so, please email us at support[at]

The information on this website is to be considered a guide and is therefore not legal advice. You use this information with the understanding that Wiselaw does not accept liability for any direct or indirect losses as a result of anyone relying on or acting upon the information on this website. Whilst we endeavour to provide accurate information, Wiselaw does not accept liability for any errors or omissions on this website.