A cautionary note to couples who divorced before the millennium and had an earmarking order made in their favour.
Under these orders, a share of the pension income is paid to an ex-spouse on the retirement of the pension holder.
There are concerns though, that vindictive ex's may try and override the order by cashing in their whole fund, which is allowed as of last month.
How this would work in practice, however, would remain to be seen because the earmarking order is registered with the pension scheme and the pension administrators would have full knowledge of it.
Divorced savers relying on their ex-spouse for their pension have been warned that they could be left penniless under new rules unless they take urgent action to protect their benefits. Many couples who divorced before the millennium set up “earmarking orders” under which a share of pension income is paid to an ex-spouse, usually the ex-wife, when the pension holder retires. Retirement experts fear that vindictive ex-husbands may try to override these orders by cashing in their whole pension fund using new freedoms introduced last month. This could leave a large number of women with nothing in old age.