Pension attachment has largely fallen out of favour because in most situations the receiving spouse gains greater financial security by means of a pension sharing order. With pension attachment, the income payments come to an immediate end if the receiving spouse remarries or if the paying spouse dies. With pension sharing, once the order has come into effect it makes no difference if the receiving spouse remarries or the paying spouse dies – the pension share cannot be undone or reversed.
However if there is a significant age difference between the parties, with the receiving spouse much younger than the paying spouse. pension attachment may be appropriate. In such a situation a pension sharing order would mean a much reduced income for the paying spouse (an immediate drop if he is already getting his pension benefits), with the receiving spouse not getting any income at all from her share of the pension until she reaches the age at which she can draw her benefits – typically 65 – which might be many years into the future.
With pension attachment, the problem of the paying spouse dying before the receiving spouse reaches retirement age is usually addressed by way of a life assurance policy.