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After two years of hard work the Pension Advisory Group (PAG) is pleased to be publishing its essential guide to the treatment of pensions on divorce. PAG’s long awaited report brings guidance to family judges, lawyers and pension experts encouraging fairer settlements and helping to manage liability.

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PAG is a multi-disciplinary group of professionals specialising in financial remedies and pensions on divorce. The group is jointly chaired by Mr Justice Francis and His Honour Judge Edward Hess and is supported by the President of the Family Division and the Family Justice Council. PAG has come together to produce a clear good practice guide to address the shortfall in understanding of how to treat pensions on divorce. PAG was determined to create a guide that demystifies the jargon of pensions and improves communication amongst the professionals working in this field across England & Wales. The guide was born from the need to address the wide variation of financial settlements nationally which stems from a lack of understanding of how professionals should deal with the valuation, sharing or offsetting of pension fund assets.

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Richard Nobbs is a member of the PAG experts working group.

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Excalibur Actuaries

Providing expert reports on pensions and divorce requires professionalism, timely delivery, a deep and wide experience of the variety of pension schemes in the UK and overseas, and the expertise to analyse and value different pensions in the context of divorce, pension sharing, offsetting and attachment.

Excalibur Actuaries Limited is an independent firm of pensions consulting actuaries founded in 2017 to build on the extensive experience in all aspects of pensions and divorce work by its predecessor partnership Excalibur Actuaries since 1996. As well as advising on pensions on divorce, our experts carry out a wide range of pensions consultancy work allowing us to maintain our extensive knowledge of pensions in the UK and elsewhere.

Our experts have many years’ experience of working with a wide variety of private and public sector pensions, which allows us to have real insight into how the often-complex pensions which a divorcing couple have built up between them over the years can most effectively be analysed and dealt with appropriately on divorce.
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Timetable and Fees

Our normal timescale is to report within eight weeks of the team receiving instructions, confirmations and all necessary information - the average time from receipt of instruction to report production is under four months and we are increasing our capacity. Our typical report fee is between £1,400 and £2,800 plus VAT, with the fee in each case depending on the complexity of the pensions and of the questions put in our instructions. Our terms of business are the Academy of Experts’ model terms.
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Latest Quarterly Update

We continue to turnaround cases quickly and in  the most recent quarter to 30 June 2019 all reports were completed within six weeks of receiving all the necessary information; 8% of reports were completed within one month of first receiving the instruction; and the average time from receipt of instruction to report was 3.8 months.

The most common cause of delay was in getting sufficient information about preserved benefits (needed in addition to the CE) in private sector final salary schemes.  In particular, rates of increase before and after retirement, including whether RPI or CPI measures of inflation are used.

Another delay is in obtaining state pensions forecasts - these can be obtained from www.gov.uk/check-state-pension or by completing form BR19;

The average report fee was £1,800 +VAT.
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