Question 27
How will we handle pension benefits?

Default answer:  The husband gets the pension because he earned it.
Pension rules were written under the assumption
that every working man would have only one wife during his life-time.
So all pension benefits were recorded in the man's name.
He would begin to receive a monthly pension-check when he retired.
And he would share his pension-income with his wife,
just as he has shared his salary with her thru-out his working career.

     The husband has complete discretion over his pension contract.
And some pension contracts give him the option
of earning more cash during his working life
in exchange for less pension when he retires.
And he might take this option without informing his wife.
He might even eliminate the survivors' benefit completely,
which normally would have paid some money
to his wife and children after his death.

     A wise wife will make sure she knows what benefits she has coming.
And she should find a way to make sure that her benefits
are not cut or eliminated just before divorce.

     Because most pensions take no account of divorce and remarriage,
they just assign all the benefits to the husband when he retires
—and to whoever happens to be his wife at the time.
And when he dies, his last wife gets all the survivors' benefits.


The above half page introduces Questions 27 from Designer Marriage.
One more page explains the other options for defining who gets pension benefits.

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Designer Marriage: Write Your Own Relationship Contract

Created April 9, 2009; Revised

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