Pension entitlement after divorce – Those who want a divorce face many unanswered questions. One of them is the pension and how this is treated in the divorce. In this context, couples are confronted with the word pension equalization, which means nothing more than that the pension rights acquired during the marriage are divided between the spouses. Back to the guide: Divorce & Real Estate.
Pension equalisation – what happens to the pension in the event of divorce
Pension equalisation only becomes an issue when you get divorced, because both partners want to be secure for their old age after the divorce. However, how is this pension equalisation distributed, who benefits from it and how fair is it really?
The facts – who benefits from pension equalisation?
People who work acquire pension entitlements for old age in different ways. While employees are usually compulsorily insured with the German pension insurance, civil servants are entitled to a civil servant pension and self-employed people ideally provide for their old age on their own responsibility.
In the event of divorce, the equalisation of p ensions ensures that the spouse benefiting from it is able to provide for his or her own retirement independently of the other partner. Originally, the legislator had the housewife marriage in mind with this claim, in which the wife looks after the joint children and therefore foregoes her own income and savings for old age. In the case of pension rights equalisation, the pension rights acquired during the marriage are therefore divided equally between the partners. However, this entitlement does not apply to non-married and non-marital partners, as in these relationships each person remains responsible for his or her own pension.
- Everyone who works acquires pension rights for old age
- In the event of a divorce, the provision for old age must be regulated for both partners, which is regulated by the pension equalisation scheme.
Which pension entitlements are included? – Pension & Co.
The figures make it clear how important pension equalisation is, because in 2011 more than 716,000 retired people benefited from pension equalisation and supplemented their pensions with an average of 210 euros per month by transferring the pension entitlements of their ex-partner. But which pension entitlements are included in the pension rights adjustment at all? The law stipulates that all pension benefits acquired by a spouse through employment during the marriage are included in the pension equalization. However, benefits that are of a compensatory nature, such as pensions from accident insurance or life insurance, are not eligible for equalisation.
- The pension belongs to the entitlements that are regulated within the framework of the pension rights adjustment.
- Not eligible for compensation are benefits that have a compensatory character
Avoiding pension rights adjustment – is this possible?
Pension equalisation is not always fair and is therefore not applied in certain cases. If the marriage lasts less than three years, if the equalisation value is less than 50 euros per month or if the pension difference is only about 25 euros per month or less, pension equalisation is not considered necessary.
However, if none of the above points apply, pension equalisation can also be prevented in another way. Anyone who has excluded pension equalisation in a notarised marriage contract avoids pension equalisation proceedings in the event of divorce. However, such an agreement can still be concluded during the divorce as long as the spouses are both financially secure for old age and agree to the agreement. However, a pension equalisation can also be avoided by combining it with the equalisation of gains pending on divorce. Here, for example, a property can be transferred for old-age provision, provided that the family court considers this agreement to be appropriate.
- Pension rights adjustment is not necessary in certain cases
- The pension equalisation can also be excluded by a notarised agreement.
Conclusion on pension equalisation – this is how important the regulation is for married couples
At first glance, the pension equalization is fair for both parties, but in practice it shows only problems with which the spouses have to struggle. It becomes particularly problematic for married couples who only divorce at an advanced age. Where both partners together were well provided for in old age, they often find themselves with only two poor households after the divorce. If a divorce is finalized at a young age, both parties still have the opportunity to supplement their pensions as they continue to work, while older couples often face financial ruin. So instead of a schematic division, it can often be more beneficial for older couples if one party keeps the pension rights and exchanges them for other assets, such as a property. So the legislation here is not entirely optimal, as it does not offer everyone the same opportunities and can be particularly difficult for older couples by necessity.
- The pension equalization actually regulates the provision in old age fairly, but does not take into account the disadvantage that some groups draw from it
- Older spouses in particular are not favoured by pension equalisation
The most important questions about pensions after divorce
When it comes to divorce and pensions, many questions arise. The equalization of pensions and the fair provision in old age for both parties is an important topic. To ensure that no questions remain unanswered for you, the experts at Lukinski answer all important questions on the subject of divorce and pensions.
What is the pension equalization in divorce?
The pension equalisation deals with all entitlements to a pension in old age acquired during the marriage. It is therefore about the pension and how it is divided between the spouses.
How fast is a divorce?
The length of a divorce depends first of all on whether the divorce is contested or amicable. Amicable divorces usually take between three and six months, while contested divorces can be delayed for up to a year.
What are the costs of divorce?
The cost of a divorce varies from case to case. The court determines much of the cost, which also depends on how many lawyers are needed and how long the divorce takes.
Who pays for the divorce?
Normally, the costs are offset against each other. This means that each party pays its own lawyer and half of the court costs incurred.
What is gain in marriage?
A gain describes an increase in assets that occurred during the marriage. At the end of the marriage, this must be calculated for the mutual equalisation of gains.
How long does it take to process the pension rights adjustment?
A divorce in which the pension equalization is omitted usually takes no longer than four months. Divorces where the pension equalisation is observed take between five and nine months.
Can the divorce be denied?
Divorce can be refused by the spouse in principle. However, this is not possible on a permanent basis, as a compulsory divorce can be decided by the court after three years at the latest.
Divorce: guide, help and tips
Divorce is complex, it’s true. But you are not alone! Many let themselves separate and in fact, a large part always finds a good solution. Only a small part ends in a quarrel. So that you can prepare well, you will find here our small guides and tips on divorce, family, money and real estate.