Death of a retired member
There may be benefits due to your loved ones if you die after you retire. These benefits can include one or more of:
- A lump sum death grant
- Survivors’ pensions to a spouse, civil partner or co-habiting partner and eligible children
Survivors’ pensions are paid monthly. However, the lump sum death grant is a one-off payment. You can choose who you’d like to receive your death grant. But, payment is at the discretion of the fund, although we’ll usually be guided by your wishes. Your death grant doesn’t form part of your estate.
Survivors’ pensions become due the day after you die.
How to tell us about a death
You must tell us about a member’s death as soon as possible so we can work out what benefits are due. If you’re telling us about a death, you should have the following information:
- Full name and address of the deceased
- The date of death and where the death was registered
- Reference number such as national insurance number or payroll number
- Full name and address of the next of kin and a phone number
We’ll write to the next of kin and ask to see the death certificate. We may also ask for information about marital status and ‘eligible’ children.
When we know who should receive a survivors pension and/or death grant, the benefits will be worked out and paid.
A Death Grant may be due if you’re under 75 when you die. This depends on when you retired.
Retirements on or after 1 April 1998 but before 1 April 2008
If you died within five years of retirement there was a death grant due. This five-year period has now passed.
Retirements on or after 1 April 2008 but before 1 April 2014
If you die before your 75th birthday, a death grant is due. This would be ten times your pension, less the amount of pension already paid out to you at the date of death.
Retirements on or after 1 April 2014- post 2014 benefits only
If you die before your 75th birthday, a death grant is due. This would be ten times your pension (ignoring any pension given up increasing your retirement grant) less the amount of pension already paid to you at the date of death, and any retirement grant commuted.
Retirement for a pensioner with benefits from 2008 and 2014 schemes
The death grant would be worked out based on the rules in place for each period of your membership.
Retirement before 1 April 1998
Widowers’ pension benefits are worked out using membership from 5 April 1988 only. An exception, is if you’re a female member who’s made contributions for service from 1 April 1972 to 5 April 1988 to count.
If you re-marry after you retire, your benefits are based on:
- Membership from 6 April 1978 (or when you joined the LGPS if later) for widows’ pensions.
- Membership from 6 April 1988 (or when you joined the LGPS if later) for widowers’ and civil partners’ pensions.
If you retired before 1 April 1998, a short-term survivors’ pension is due immediately. This would be the same as the pension you were receiving before your death. How long the short-term pension is paid, depends on if you leave an eligible child.
If you leave an eligible child in your spouse’s care, the short-term pension would be paid for six months. If there’s no eligible child, the short-term pension would be paid for three months.
The long-term pension will become due when the short-term pension ends. This is worked out as 1/160th of your final pay, times the membership built up before you retired or left the scheme.
Retirements after 1 April 1998
If you retired after 1 April 1998, all your membership is used to work out a spouses’ or civil partners’ pension. The short-term and long-term pensions are the same as if you retired before this date.
If you are a member with a ‘nominated cohabiting partner’ (see below), membership before 6 April 1988 won’t count. This is unless you’ve previously taken up an option introduced in 2010 to pay extra contributions to cover it.
If you retired after 1 April 2008, there’s no short-term pension. Instead, the long-term pension is paid straight away.
Any 2014 scheme membership is worked out as having built up as a 1/160th to work out the survivors’ pension. If you’ve transferred benefits in to the LGPS, these count as 49/160 of their value towards a spouses’ or partners’ pension.
For your cohabiting partner to receive a survivors’ pension, you must’ve paid into the LGPS on or after 1 April 2008. Your relationship must also meet certain rules laid down by the LGPS.
If you die leaving one or more ‘eligible’ children, they’d get a childs’ pension. If there’s more than one child, this pension will be shared equally between the children.
Retirements before 1 April 2008
If you retired before this date and leave eligible children, they’d get a short-term pension. This would last for six months if you leave no surviving spouse.
If you leave a surviving spouse and the children are in their care, the short-term pension would be paid for three months. It would also be reduced by the amount of spouse’s short-term pension. If the children aren’t in the care of your surviving spouse, the pension is due for three months. The short-term pension would be the same as your retirement pension.
A long-term pension will become due when the short-term pension ends. The long-term pension is paid for as long as the child/children meet the rules of eligibility.
The amount of pension due, would be a fraction of your retirement pension. If your retirement pension is based on membership of less than:
- 10 years; or
- The period which would have counted if you had stayed in the LGPS until 65
whichever is shorter, would be the period used when working out a long-term child’s pension.
Where there is one child:
- If a spouses pension is due, this would be worked out as 1/320
- If no spouses pension is due, this would be worked out as 1/240
Where there is more than one child:
- If a spouses benefit is due, this would be worked out as 1/160
- If no spouses benefit is due, this would be worked out as 1/120
Retirements after 1 April 2008
If you retired after 1 April 2008, a long-term pension would become due straight away.
Where there’s one child:
- If a survivors’ pension is due: membership x final pay x 1/320 or 2014 scheme benefits assumed to have built up at 1/320
- If no survivors’ pension is due: membership x final pay x 1/240 or 2014 scheme benefits assumed to have built up at 1/240
Where there’s more than one child:
- If a survivors’ pension is due: membership x final pay x 1/160 or 2014 scheme benefits assumed to have built up at 1/160
- If no survivors’ pension is due: membership x final pay x 1/120 or 2014 scheme benefits assumed to have built up at 1/120
For a child to be ‘eligible’ they must meet certain rules. To find out what these rules are, visit the page on children’s pensions’.