NAfter a divorce, legal cases can arise that no one could have imagined in peaceful times. The Federal Labor Court in Erfurt had to decide such a case on Thursday. A married couple had split up. When they were fighting the divorce, the two ex-spouses agreed on how to handle debt from an ongoing construction project. In total, the woman then had to pay her ex 22. 679.60 euros. From then on, your employer transferred an amount to him. But a few months later she signed a pension agreement through the company.
At this point, the judgment also becomes financially interesting. Because it has specified the extent to which a pension is protected against access by others – in this case the former partner. The starting point for the former husband’s lawsuit against the employer was that the employer did not take into account the amount for deferred compensation that the employee and divorced wife paid to direct insurance as the beneficiary. In a sense, 248 euros per month were withdrawn from the garnishment income. At least that was the plaintiff’s expectation.
A newly completed deferred compensation is not a disadvantage
The lawyers had come to different assessments in the lower courts. The Munich labor court dismissed the ex-husband’s complaint, but the regional labor court partially upheld it. The former partner’s employer wanted a legally sound judgment and a complete rejection of the claims. The Federal Labor Court has now rejected the lawsuit (Az: 8 AZR 96/20). The Erfurt judges argued that the moment the divorced woman decided on deferred compensation on the basis of direct insurance, this amount was no longer part of the garnishment income.
The fact that his former partner had concluded a contract for a company pension in the form of deferred compensation should not be seen as a disadvantage for the plaintiff. She has converted salary components to the usual extent and has not exceeded the amounts stipulated in the relevant law. The Eighth Senate also determined that a different judgment might have to be passed if this amount had been exceeded by the agreement between the employer and the employee. But this time the judges would not have had to decide.
In a further detail, the judgment made the special protection of company pension schemes clear. This prominent position also corresponds to the treatment of company and state-sponsored old-age provision (e.g. Riester pension) in other cases. For example, these two forms of savings are not added to the saved assets if a saver falls into the state basic security, for example due to unemployment. Company and subsidized private pension schemes do not have to be used up before the state grants a transfer payment.
The situation is different with private, unsubsidized insurance contracts such as a capital life insurance, private pension insurance or unit-linked pension insurance. Here, policies must be liquidated before a state transfer can be made. A basic tax-free allowance of 150 euros per year of age and at least 3100 euros applies to each individual insured. Here, too, the legislature has made it clear that the state forms of old-age provision have a higher degree of need for protection. As part of the three pillars of old-age provision, they are comparable to the claims from the statutory pension. The judges at the Federal Labor Court have now decided in this spirit.