Death of a Retired Member
The benefits payable if you die whilst receiving a pension, can comprise one or more of the following depending on service:
- A Lump Sum Death Grant
- Survivors’ pension/s to a spouse, civil partner, cohabiting partner or eligible children
Pensions are payable monthly to eligible dependents whereas the Lump Sum Death Grant is a one off payment usually made to the beneficiaries nominated by you. The beneficiary of the death grant is at the discretion of the Pension Fund, who will be guided by any nomination and as such it does not form part of your estate.
Survivors’ pensions become effective from the day after you die and the pension payable will depend upon the membership you have built up in the Scheme.
How to Notify the Fund of a Death
It is essential that the Fund is notified of a member’s death as quickly as possible so that the process of establishing whether benefits are due can be started without delay. If you are contacting the Fund about a death, it would be helpful if the following information is provided:
- 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 Reference Number
- Full name and address of the Next of Kin and a contact telephone number
The Fund will then write to the Next of Kin to request to see the death certificate and any other relevant certificates, and declarations about marital status and any eligible children.
When entitlement has been established and the relevant benefits have been calculated, the recipient will be informed and the appropriate payments made.
A Death Grant may be payable if you are under 75 at the date of death. To find out what Death Grant may be payable, please see the paragraph below that corresponds with your retirement date.
Retirement on or after 01/04/1998 but before 01/04/2008
If you died within 5 years of retirement there was a death grant payable but this time period of 5 years has now elapsed.
Retirement on or after 01/04/2008 but before 01/04/2014
If you die before your 75th birthday, a death grant is payable of 10 times your pension, minus the amount of pension already paid at the date of death. This is in accordance with regulation 35 of the Benefits Regulations.
Retirement on or after 01/04/2014 – Post 14 Benefits only
Under regulation 46 of the 2014 Regulations, if you die before your 75th birthday, a death grant is payable of 10 times the pension (ignoring any commutation of pension to retirement grant) with deductions of the amount of actual pension already paid at the date of death, and any retirement grant commuted.
Retirement for a pensioner with benefits from 2008 and 2014 schemes
The death grant calculated is based on the regulations in force for each ‘tranche’ of service.
Members who retired before 01/04/1998
Widowers’ pension benefits will be based on post 05/04/1988 membership only, unless you as a female member have previously made an election for any period from 01/04/1972 to 05/04/1988 to count.
Post-retirement spouses’ benefits are based on the following period of membership:
- Widows: membership from 06/04/1978 or date of commencement if later
- Widowers and civil partners: membership after 06/04/1988 or date of commencement if later.
If you are a pre 01/04/1998 retiree, there is a short-term pension payable to eligible survivors equal to your retirement pension immediately before your death. The length of this pension depends if there is an eligible child. In situations where there is an eligible child in your spouse’s care, the short-term pension is payable to your spouse for 6 months. If there is no eligible child, the short-term pension is payable to your spouse for 3 months. The long-term pension will become payable when the short term pension ends.
Following your death, the rate of the pension is calculated as 1/160 of your final pay, multiplied by the membership you had accrued until your date of retirement or date of leaving.
Pensioner Members who retired after 01/04/1998
If you are a pensioner member retiring after 01/04/1998, all membership now counts for widow, widower and civil partner benefits. The same short-term and long-term requirements apply if you have retired before this date; but membership is now included in the calculation of the benefits.
If you are a member with a nominated cohabiting partner (see below), membership before 06/04/1988 would still not count for these purposes unless you have previously taken up an option introduced in 2010 to pay extra contributions to cover it.
From the 01/04/2008 the short-term pension is no longer applicable.
Any 2014 scheme pension is treated as having accrued at 1/160 to calculate the survivors’ pension, with transfers treated as 49/160 of their value.
For a cohabiting partner to be entitled to receive a survivors’ pension you must have paid into the LGPS on or after 01/04/2008 and your relationship has to meet certain conditions laid down by the LGPS
If you die leaving one or more eligible children, they are entitled to a children’s pension. If there is more than one eligible child, the pension will be shared equally among the children.
Members who retired before 01/04/2008
If you retired before this date and have eligible children, they are eligible to a short term pension of 6 months if there is no surviving spouse. If your leave a surviving spouse and the children are in their care, then a short term pension is payable for 3 months reduced by the amount of spouse’s short term pension payable. If the children are not in the care of the surviving spouse the pension is payable for 3 months. The short term pension payable would be equal to your retirement pension.
A long term pension will become payable when the short term pension ends and will remain payable for as long as the child/children fulfill the criteria of eligibility.
The amount of pension payable would be a fraction of your retirement pension. If your retirement pension has been based on a period of membership of less than
- 10 years
- the period you would have been entitled to count if active membership continued until you reached 65.
whichever is shorter, would be the period used when calculating a long term child’s pension.
Where there is one eligible child
- if a spouses pension is payable 1/320
- if no spouses pension is payable 1/240
where there is more than one eligible child
- if a spouses benefit is payable 1/160
- if no spouses benefit is payable 1/120
Members who retired after 01/04/2008
There is no short term pension payable, but a long term pension would become payable immediately.
Where there is one eligible child
- if a survivors’ benefit is payable: membership x final pay x 1/320 or 2014 scheme benefits assumed to have accrued at 1/320
- if no survivors’ pension is payable: membership x final pay x 1/240 or 2014 scheme benefits assumed to have accrued at 1/240
Where there is more than one eligible child
- if a survivors’ pension is payable: membership x final pay x 1/160 or 2014 scheme benefits assumed to have accrued at 1/160
- if no survivors’ pension is payable: membership x final pay x 1/120 or 2014 scheme benefits assumed to have accrued at 1/120
For the definition of eligible children please visit the page on Children’s Pensions.