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International Divorce

Pensions – Martin Dye v Martin Dye 2006


ASSETS OF THE MARRIAGE

The couple had assets of £6,300,000, and the wife was awarded 57% which included her pension fund of £100,317. The husband had a pension which had already vested and the Cash Equivalent Transfer Value (CETV) of £940,490 was included in his 43% share of the assets.

The husband appealed on the basis that this was unfair.

FAIR DIVISION

The Court of Appeal upheld the husband’s appeal, ruling that a pension in payment was:

“No more than an income stream akin to an annuity. It could not be sold, commuted for cash or offered as security for borrowings. It had no capacity for capital appreciation. The benefit did not survive the death of the scheme member and thus could not form part of his estate. Thus there were obvious distinctions between a technical value ascribed to a pension in payment and a market value ascribed to a realisable asset such as freehold, a portfolio of shares or a work of art.”

A fair division was to distribute the capital on the same percentage basis that the lower court had ruled but to remove the pension CETV from the calculation and instead make a pension sharing order on the same percentage basis, that is, 57% to the wife and 43% to the husband.

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