Farmers beware - the pitfalls of pensions & divorce

By Agricultural Team Tue 19 May, 2015

Farmers with pensions invested in their own farming assets should be aware of the devastating impact recent pension rule changes could have on their farm in the event of divorce.

Pensioners can now not only withdraw up to 25% of their pension pot tax-free, but can also withdraw the entire balance of the fund, subject to paying income tax. This change applies to many different funds, including self-invested personal pensions (SIPP), which are widely used by farmers as they enable the pension holder to invest in a range of assets.

Many farmers have SIPPs invested in farm assets like land and buildings and it is these farmers who could be forced to sell their farm assets if a divorce resulted in an order to share the pension with their spouse, and the spouse then wanted to withdraw cash from the fund.

This could potentially force the break-up of farming assets to fund the settlement, which is why it is imperative to take early precautionary advice from specialist matrimonial solicitors, such as Warners, who can offer bespoke legal services to their client’s which includes instant access to financial and pensions experts.

For more information please contact our family law team on 01732 747900 or email family@warners.law

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