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What is a pension attachment order?

A pension attachment order can be used on divorce, dissolution of a civil partnership or as part of a judicial separation agreement. A pension attachment order requires payment by the pension company of some or all of a policyholder’s pension benefits to the ex-spouse or ex-civil partner, when the pension becomes payable to the policyholder. These benefits can be in the form of periodical payments (numerous payments over time and at specified intervals) or a lump sum (a single payment). If a pension attachment order is in existence and the pension concerned is transferred from one provider to another, the attachment order will be transferred to the new fund.

In practice, pension attachment orders are rarely used, as courts prefer to use pension sharing orders. Instead of paying the ex-spouse or ex-civil partner out of the policyholder’s fund, pension sharing orders divide rights under a pension scheme so that each spouse has their own independent rights under that scheme or under two separate schemes. For further details, read What is a Pension Sharing Order?

Related FAQs

What perceived gaps do you see in the Building Safety Act 2022 (especially in terms of pending consultations and secondary instruments)?Comments on the value of the Martlet v Mulalley judgment in fire safety cases/unsafe cladding cases

The Act was obviously subject to much debate and criticism as the Bill passed through Parliament. It is difficult to properly assess any gaps until after the necessary secondary legislation has been published and comes into force (along with the remainder of the Act), but some of the likely issues include:

  • The impact on the insurance market, and the (lack of) availability and increased cost of insurance in light of the provisions of the Act
  • How the introduction of retrospective claims will affect the market, both in relation to how parties might go about trying to prove matters which are 30 years old, but also the lack of certainty for those potentially on the receiving end of these claims which they previously had by virtue of the Limitation Act provisions
  • Whether the definition of higher risk buildings is correct, or will require some refinement.

The Martlet v Mulalley case provides some useful observations and clarifications, for example that designers cannot necessarily rely on a ‘lemming’ defence that they were simply doing what others were doing at the time, that ‘waking watch’ costs are generally recoverable, and commentary on certain specific Building Regulations. The judgment however made clear that much of the case turned on its specific facts, so it is useful from the perspective of providing some insight as to how the Courts will deal with cladding disputes in future, rather than setting significant precedents to be followed.

Is it possible to apply for a grant of probate at the moment?

Yes. The system for Probate Applications has moved on-line and continues to be available as well as by post. However, if you need to complete an Inheritance Tax Return IHT400 you are likely to experience problems collating information due to delays in many organisations being able to provide you with current values while their offices are closed and staff working remotely. Property valuations will be particularly problematic where surveyors or valuers are unable to attend properties to undertake non-urgent work. If you cannot wait, you must use your best endeavours to be as accurate as possible as regards the information you provide in the IHT400 and follow up by providing HMRC with actual values as soon as you can do so. HM Courts and Tribunal Service is however warning that delays can be expected at this time.

What will happen to patent, trade mark and design registration applications that are currently being processed or which I want to file?

In recognition of the problems that the current situation is causing, the UK IPO classed the 24th March and all subsequent days as “interrupted days” which means that deadlines that fall within this period will be extended until the UK IPO declares that the interrupted days have ceased. As lockdown has begun to be eased, the IPO has now reviewed its position and has confirmed that the “interrupted days” period will come to an end on the 29 July 2020. This means that Thursday 30 July 2020 will be the first normal day of operation, therefore all “interrupted days” deadlines will expire on this day. Similarly, if your deadline falls after the period of interruption ends, this deadline will not be automatically extended.

The IPO is conscious that many businesses may still be in challenging positions when the period of “interrupted days” end. They will endeavour to continue to provide flexibility and support to assist businesses with their applications. They hope to temporarily remove fees for requests for extensions of deadlines, and will give further updates when this fee exemption is in place.

The IPO continues to encourage applicants to meet original deadlines where they are able.  As their offices are closed, the UK IPO is not currently processing paper forms (i.e. hard copy) and faxes. However, they are processing forms which have been submitted electronically, or via email and have made a new email address available for the submission of forms.

Intellectual Property Offices covering other territories have made their own announcements about the extension of deadlines. The EUIPO’s period of extension of deadlines came to an end on the 18th May. However, they have published a Guidance Note and accompanying webinar on the EUIPO website, detailing options for parties who may struggle to meet deadlines and remedies for those who may have missed deadlines.

What are the additional costs for the end user if the contractor is deemed employed?

The immediate impact is accounting for payroll purposes for the additional cost of 13.8% employers NIC’s and 0.5% apprenticeship levy on top of the payment to the contactor’s PSC.

Secondary NIC’s cannot be recovered from payments due to employees and the same applies under the new IR35 regime. However, new terms can be agreed with reduced level of fees to reflect this additional cost.

Do you need a new written agreement for Flexible Furlough?

You should already have a written furlough agreement with your furloughed employees, but if you move them to flexible furlough then you need a new agreement that confirms the new furlough arrangement.

So, you’ll need to speak to your employees and confirm the hours of work with them in writing (or reach a collective agreement with a recognised Trade Union.

As before, an employee does not need to provide a written response. But the agreement needs to be documented in writing.