Groundbreaking report: A Guide to the Treatment of Pensions on Divorce

MICRA (Manchester Institute for Collaborative Research on Ageing) is a leading research centre carrying out research into fundamental questions about ageing.
MICRA has been engaged in collaborative work with the Pensions Advisory Group (PAG) – an interdisciplinary working group whose purpose has been to provide an in-depth analysis of how pensions on divorce should be approached, particularly in relation to valuing pensions and offsetting them against other capital assets. The PAG comprises members of the judiciary, practising solicitors, barristers, a mediator and academics with special expertise in pensions and financial remedies on divorce, actuaries, financial advisers, and other pension experts. Manchester University and MICRA are represented in the PAG by Professor Debbie Price who is the former MICRA Director.
This collaboration produced the groundbreaking report A Guide to the Treatment of Pensions on Divorce. In July 2019, the PAG published this essential guide to the treatment of pensions on divorce. This report brings guidance to family judges, lawyers and pension experts encouraging fairer settlements and helping to manage liability. MICRA’s Debbie Price was one of a panel of experts who authored this, and the MICRA administration team handled printing, design, publicity and oversaw that hard copies went to each judge in the UK.
It has been written up and referred to in at least 44 newspaper, magazine and journal articles of including the FT Adviser, This is Money, The Telegraph, Citywire, the Law Society Review, The Actuary, Good Housekeeping and others.
A Chapter on the report has been included in Hart Publishing’s Pensions: Law, Policy and Practice, and the report has been put on the recommended reading list for Financial Remedy Court Judges. The report is available in pdf form for free download.
As of the end of August 2020, the project page has been viewed nearly 10,000 times; the full report has been downloaded from the Nuffield website over 4,000 times, and from the University of Manchester repository 685 times. Further to this, Nuffield and MICRA at the University of Manchester circulated printed copies of the report to c.400 District Judges around the country who hear financial remedy cases on divorce.
The Class Legal ‘Dictionary of Financial Remedies’ (specialist publication used by finance practitioners) and the Red Book both refer to is as essential reading. It has influenced national training and practice across the judicial, legal and financial services industries. There are reliable reports that it is transforming legal practice across the courts and in settlement negotiations in England and Wales and it has been cited to date in three cases reported in the Law Reports which form precedents for court cases in our legal system.
Funding has been secured by PAG to work with charity Law for Life to produce a lay guide for divorcing couples and the project has been short-listed for an ESRC impact accelerator award to extend the reach of the research findings to the wider public.