A cautionary note to couples who divorced before the millennium and had an earmarking order made in their favour.

Under these orders, a share of the pension income is paid to an ex-spouse on the retirement of the pension holder.

There are concerns though, that vindictive ex's may try and override the order by cashing in their whole fund, which is allowed as of last month.

How this would work in practice, however, would remain to be seen because the earmarking order is registered with the pension scheme and the pension administrators would have full knowledge of it.