If you die and you are under the age of 75, a tax free, lump sum death grant may be payable. We have absolute discretion over who receives the lump sum death grant. However, it is helpful if you let us know your wishes by completing an expression of wish form (PDF, 82.2 KB).
Paying the death grant
We usually pay the death grant to your chosen beneficiaries.
The death grant does not form part of your estate. It is not liable for inheritance tax. If you nominate your estate as the beneficiary, your death grant is included in the value of your estate. Then it is included for determining inheritance tax. You should seek your own independent advice about inheritance tax and your estate.
We usually pay according to your wishes. We may not be able to do this if:
- your nominated beneficiary dies before you
- we cannot trace your beneficiary for 2 years
- you nominate your spouse or civil partner and you divorce or your partnership dissolves. If you want your former spouse or partner to receive your death grant, complete a new form dated after your divorce or dissolution
- special circumstances apply. For example, a member completes an expression of wish form whilst single. They nominate their parents as beneficiaries. The member marries and forgets to complete another form. We question if the member still wants us to pay the death grant to their parents.
For these reasons it is important you keep your expression of wish form updated.
There may be a delay to allow for any claims from family or dependents who are not nominated. They will have to provide a strong case for payment to be considered.
Making your nomination
Nominations for your beneficiaries can include:
- an organisation, for example, a charity, club or society.
It does not matter what their relationship is to you or whether they are financially dependent on you. You can nominate as many different people and organisations as you wish. The percentage share for each beneficiary must add up to 100% in total.
You cannot name an alternate beneficiary. For example, you cannot nominate 50% to Y and this goes to X if Y has died.
If you nominate someone under age 18 (a minor)
We cannot pay the death grant unless a trust or other suitable arrangement is set up. A trust does not need to be set up until the time of your death.
Completing the form
You do not have to complete an expression of wish form. If you do want to let us know your wishes, complete the form and ensure that:
- you have completed your details and those of your beneficiaries
- the total shares add up to 100%
- if there is not enough room on the form for your nominees, you provide an extra sheet of paper. You must quote your National Insurance number, sign and date the extra sheet.
If you have more than one pension record, your form applies to all of them. If you do not want this, let us know in writing.
We are unable to accept your form if there are alterations or parts crossed out. If you do make a mistake, you must complete a new form.
Changing or cancelling your nomination
You can change or cancel your nomination at any time.
Consider changing your nomination if:
- your circumstances change
- the person you have nominated dies
- the charity or organisation you nominated no longer exists
- you separate, divorce or dissolve a civil partnership. Your nomination is not invalid due to separation, divorce or dissolution. We do consider your change in circumstances in determining payment of the death grant. You should complete a new form if you want to clarify your wishes.
You can cancel your nomination at any time. Write to us or complete a new expression of wish form (PDF, 82.2 KB).
We send you an annual statement about your pension. It shows the nominees that we have on your pension record.
If you die on or after age 75, a lump sum death grant is not payable.
Current scheme member
The tax-free lump sum death grant is 3 times your annual pensionable pay. This is payable from the first day of scheme membership if you are under age 75. If you are part time, it is 3 times your actual part-time pensionable pay.
One lump sum death grant is payable if you also have:
- a deferred pension, or
- another pension in payment from the scheme.
Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) regulations direct that we must pay only the highest death grant of these.
Deferred scheme member
If you left the scheme before 31 March 2008, a death grant is payable at the current value of your deferred lump sum. We include cost of living increases from your date of leaving to the date of your death
If you left the scheme after 31 March 2008, a death grant of 5 times your deferred annual pension is payable. We include cost of living increases from your date of leaving to the date of your death.
Pensioner scheme member
If you left the scheme before 31 March 1998, a death grant may be payable. It depends on the length of your membership and how much pension and lump sum you have already received.
If you left the scheme after 31 March 1998 and before 1 April 2008, a death grant is usually payable within 5 years of your pension coming into payment. The value of the death grant is the balance of 5 years pension payments.
If you left the scheme after 31 March 2008, a death grant is payable of 10 times your annual pension, reduced by pension already received.
Right of appeal
If we do not pay a beneficiary, they have a right of appeal. View further information about the Internal Dispute Resolution Procedure (IDRP)