A Pension Adjustment Order, commonly known as a PAO, is a court order which awards part of a pension scheme or policy to a former spouse or partner of the pension plan member or owner. Either spouse can apply for a PAO to be awarded. Often the PAO is granted at the time of divorce.


The Pension Adjustment Order, however, does not specify the amount of pension benefit payable. It specifies the time period over which the designated benefit is deemed to have accrued and the percentage of that specific benefit payable to the former spouse/partner. A separate PAO is required for each pension arrangement that exists.


The following are the two main options available to the former spouse or partner (known as the beneficiary):

  • Earmarking: they can wait until the owner/member takes benefits from the pension before receiving the benefits themselves
  • Transfer Out / Split Benefit: they can take a transfer of their benefit to a policy in their own name eg. a Personal Retirement Bond, a PRSA or a Personal Pension


it is very important to seek financial advice and ensure you are aware of all of your options should you find yourself in this situation . If you would like to discuss, please give me a call on 068 31777 or 087 9308181. Alternatively, you can email me at gerard@proactivefinance.ie.


Gerard Ward

27th July 2020