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Pension Advisory Group publishes two draft reports

PAG seeks practitioners' responses to recommendations on pensions and divorce

The Pension Advisory Group has published two draft reports.

The Pension Advisory Group (PAG) is an interdisciplinary group of judges, family and pension lawyers, pension experts (PODEs), academics and a mediator. It is jointly chaired by Mr Justice Francis and His Honour Judge Edward Hess and has the support of the Family Justice Council and the President of the Family Division.

The PAG has been formed with the specific purpose of producing a good practice guide to pensions on divorce, for use by the profession and divorcing public in all cases involving pensions, but particularly in the more 'everyday' cases. The aim is to improve understanding and consistency of approach in a field where there is currently little clear guidance, and ultimately to help produce fairer, more informed outcomes so far as pensions on divorce
are concerned.

This project is being conducted under the auspices of Cardiff University School of Law and Politics Part with the assistance of grant funding from the Nuffield Foundation.

The first report reviews legal questions, including how s 25 of the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 operates in this context and when to instruct an expert. The second reviews the assumptions used by experts when valuing pensions for the purposes of sharing or offsetting, and any desirable qualifications and regulation of the experts. The reports are necessarily long, reflecting in part the complex subject matter, but also demonstrating the reasoning behind the recommendations, both where the group has been able to reach agreement and where it has not.

The PAG says:

"We are now seeking your input in responding to the consultation questions. You will find these summarised at the beginning of the Legal report, and at the beginning of, and embedded within, the Valuation and Expert Issues report. If you do not have the time or inclination to read both reports from beginning to end, please just read the sections and respond to the consultation questions which interest you.  Please email your replies to Hilary Woodward at woodwardhd@cardiff.ac.uk by 18 July 2018 using the attached reply and consent form.

All replies will be considered by the PAG to assist in the preparation of a good practice guide for the judiciary and practitioners specialising in this field, with a target date for on line publication towards the end of 2018. There will then follow another guide for non-specialists and the divorcing public.

Participation in this consultation is entirely voluntary. We will use your responses to better understand the issues facing the professions and to inform the guidance that we publish.  We will not be publishing the responses themselves or any part of them, but we may, if you agree, publish a list of those who responded to the consultation exercise. When you provide your consultation response, please be kind enough to use the attached reply form. Data will only be collected once you press the send button and it will then be securely stored in accordance with The Data Protection Act and GDPR for a maximum of two years.

This is your opportunity to draw on the experience of a very eminent and hard-working group of professionals who practice in the challenging field of pensions on divorce, and to have your say. This opportunity is unlikely to arise again in the near future. Please respond! And if you know of anyone else who might be interested to read and respond to the reports, please feel free to forward details to them.

Mr Justice Francis and HHJ Edward Hess"

The reports can be accessed here.

19/4/18 (amended)