Your pension, your future
Love your future. Shell Pension.

Pension update September 2021

Your pension, your future
Love your future. Shell Pension.

Pension update September 2021

Divorce

How to avoid a pension horror story

Traditionally, most relationships fail after the summer holidays. But how does getting a divorce affect your pension? Tips from Marijke Biewinga, Legal Counsel at Shell Pension.

1. Don't forget to arrange things

When you are getting a divorce, lots of things need to be done: from finding a new home to dividing up the assets. As a result, most people forget to take a closer look at their pension. Fair enough, but pension arrangements also need to be agreed on.

2. Entitled to half the money

Pursuant to the Equalisation of Pension Rights in the Event of a Divorce Act, the retirement pension is divided (equally) between married people and people with a registered partner's pension (note: not the people with a cohabitation contract). Basically, married couples and people with a registered partner's pension receive 50 per cent of the retirement pension accrued during the marriage. -Unless different arrangements were made-.

In addition, the ex-partner is entitled to the accrued 'special partner's pension'. People with a cohabitation contract are only entitled to this if they have registered their partner with us. Download the form here.

Need to know:

If there is an accrued partner's pension included in your pension scheme, according to Section 57 of the Pensions Act, a division must also be made for that particular part. (Be aware, only if partner’s pension has been accrued, if there is coverage on a risk basis, this does not apply). The division of the accrued partner's pension applies to both married couples, registered partnerships and unmarried cohabitants with a cohabitation contract (thus a more extensive group than covered under the Act on Equalisation of Pension Rights in the Event of a Divorce). The ex-partner is entitled to the full partner's pension that has been accrued up to the date of the divorce. Again, partners may agree to make different arrangements. Divorce lawyers are not always aware of this.

3. Inform us quickly

With the equalisation form (only in Dutch) for the division of your retirement pension, you notify Shell Pension of your divorce. This can be done by either one of the partners. If you do so promptly, within two years of your divorce, you and your ex-partner will be paid by us when the person who accrued the pension retires.

Need to know: 

If the equalisation form for the division of your retirement pension is sent in too late, each party still has the right to half of the retirement pension. Only now you will pay out the retirement pension to each other.

4. Dividing differently

You can also choose to divide your pension entitlements in a different way. You can then set off the right to your pension against other rights. For example, think of less spousal maintenance in exchange for a larger pension share.

5. Not all components of your pension are eligible for division

There are some components of your pension that do not need to be divided, such as:

  • AOW, the state retirement pension you receive from the Dutch government if you have lived in the Netherlands. 
  • Annuity, an insurance that pays out until the insured person dies.
  • The partner's pension that has been accrued up to the date of divorce legally belongs to the ex-partner. However, this may be waived.

6. Make arrangements for your retirement pension before getting a divorce 

Have your agreements on pension division drawn up by a mediator or lawyer in a divorce agreement. This is a document that outlines all the agreements, such as the division of your assets, house, pension, debts and how the maintenance will be arranged.

Would you like to take your time and review these topics? Then watch this video

7. Specify the division of your pension in the divorce agreement

Have your agreements on pension division drawn up by a mediator or lawyer in a divorce agreement. This is a document that outlines all the agreements, such as the division of your assets, house, pension, debts and how the maintenance will be arranged. This is a document that outlines all the agreements, such as the division of your assets, house, pension, debts and how the maintenance will be arranged.

Any questions?

Schedule a video call here and talk to a pension specialist at Shell Pension or contact us by other means here.