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New Pension Rules For Over-55s Driving Up Divorce Rates?

People can now cash in their pension assets at the age of 55.

New rules for people over the age of 55 that allows them to cash in their pension pots and gain a greater level of control over their savings could potentially increase divorce rates among this demographic, so Stockport divorce lawyers may soon see a rise in demand for their services.

Older couples may well have considered divorce as an option in the past but been deterred because of financial reasons – but the new move by chancellor George Osborne back in April of this year may well spur them on to move ahead with their plans and start life afresh.

Quite often, courts will grant one partner the family home in a divorce and the other the savings and pensions so as to ensure an equitable split, or the pension could be divided so each person gets a similar retirement income. However, this has proved contentious in the past because older couples were unable to access their pension pots until 65 years old.

Thanks to Mr Osborne’s announcement, assets can be converted to cash when people are 55 years old, although this could see them having to pay more income tax. This can be counteracted if you decide to withdraw your pension slowly over several years, however.

While divorce statistics from 2013 show that the number of people ending their marriages has been steadily dropping since the mid-90s, this contrasts to those people over the age of 60, who are divorcing increasingly regularly. Reasons for this include increased life expectancy and a reduced loss of stigma of actually being divorced.

Posted in: Family law

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