In the Scottish case of McDonald v Newton, the Supreme Court has clarified how to calculate what part of a member's rights are subject to pension sharing under Scots divorce law.


Under Scots law (unlike English law) it is generally only property acquired during a marriage ("matrimonial property") which falls to be shared between the parties on divorce. Scottish legislation provides a formula for apportioning pension rights to determine what proportion of a party's pension rights are matrimonial property. The key question the Supreme Court had to decide was whether the cash equivalent of a member's rights falls to be apportioned by reference to the period during which the member was married and an active member of the scheme or whether any period of membership (active or not)  counted. The Supreme Court held that "membership" for this purpose mean any period of membership, active or not.

Key contacts

Rachel Rawnsley

Rachel Rawnsley

Partner, Head of Pensions
United Kingdom

View profile
Jade Murray

Jade Murray

Partner, Pensions
United Kingdom

View profile
Catherine McAllister

Catherine McAllister

Partner, Pensions
United Kingdom

View profile
Rachel Uttley

Rachel Uttley

Partner, Pensions
United Kingdom

View profile