What happens if I die in service?
What benefits will be paid if I die?
If you die in service as a member of the LGPS, subject to the certain qualifying conditions, these benefits are payable:
A widow’s, widower’s, civil or cohabiting partner’s pension* equal to 30.625% of the pension you would have received if you had retired on serious ill health grounds.
*What defines a Cohabiting Partner?
A scheme member can only provide benefits for a co-habiting partner provided they paid into the scheme on or after 1 April 2008.
Cohabiting partner means a person whom Leicestershire County Council Pension Fund is satisfied fulfils the following conditions:
The person (P) has fulfilled the conditions below for a continuous period of at least 2 years on the date the member (M) died
The conditions are:
M is able to marry, or form a civil partnership with P
M and P are living together as if they were married or as if they were civil partners
Neither M nor P is living with a third person as if they were married or as if they were civil partners, and
Either P is financially dependent on M, or M and P are financially interdependent.
There is not any requirement to complete a nomination form to establish a Cohabiting partner's pension. The need for such a form was removed in 2014.
There are also pensions for eligible children
There is also a lump sum death grant of approximately 3 years pay.
Important note: If you have more than one LGPS pension, that is to say if you have separate benefits either within the Leicestershire Scheme or under another Local Authority, in the event of your death, only one Death Grant will be paid. This will be the one that is the higher of the payments, once they have been calculated.
If you die after retiring and you are in receipt of your pension, a survivor's pension can also be paid to your spouse or nominated partner, subject to certain qualifying conditions. A lump sum may be payable, depending on your age, when you left the scheme, and how long you have been drawing the pension for.
Who do you pay the death grant lump sum to?
If you have not nominated a beneficiary, please do so. You can make an expression of wish for whoever you would like to receive the lump sum - friends, family, partners, even an organisation such as your favourite charity. You can download a copy of a Death Grant Expression of Wish form. If you don’t nominate (or we are unable to follow your wishes) we might have to pay the lump sum to your estate.
Is there any advantage in making an expression of wish?
Yes. The advantage of making an expression of wish is that the payments can normally be made quickly without waiting for your estate to be settled. Also, payment usually means that no inheritance tax needs to be paid on the Death Grant.
What benefits will be paid if I die with deferred benefits?
Even if you left the scheme and have deferred benefits with us, you still have some lump sum cover, and pensions for dependents too, based on the amount of pensionable service you built up before you left the scheme.
If I died, would you pay a pension to my children?
Yes, if your child is your own, adopted, or who depend on you financially. They must normally be under 18, but can be as old as 23 if they carry on in full time education or in training for a trade, profession or vocation. The pension may also cover some adult children who cannot work because of a disability which arose while a child.
IMPORTANT INFORMATION 2019 Changes to survivor benefits for same sex spouses and civil partners
A change to the scheme rules has been made to provide that survivor benefits payable to a same sex spouse or a civil partner are equal those paid to the widow of a male member.
Why has the change been made?
The change has been made as a result of a Supreme Court judgment (Walker v Innopsec) which found that Mr Walker’s male spouse was entitled to the same benefits that would have been paid if Mr Walker had left a widow in an opposite sex marriage.
Why does this apply to the LGPS?
The government believes that the implication of this judgment for all public service pensions schemes, including the LGPS, is that surviving civil partners or surviving same sex spouses should be provided with benefits equal to those that would be left to the widow of a male member.
When does the change take effect from?
The change is backdated to the date the civil partnerships and same sex marriages were introduced – this is 5 December 2005 for civil partnerships and 13 March 2014 for same sex marriages.
This means that where a member of the LGPS has died leaving a surviving civil partner or a same sex spouse, the survivor’s pension in payment will need to be reviewed and any additional amounts paid, where applicable. We are in the process of reviewing the impact of this change and will be contacting affected civil partners and same sex spouses in due course.
IF YOU THINK THIS APPLIES TO YOUR PERSONAL SITUATION FOLLOWING THE DEATH OF YOUR CIVIL PARTNER AND YOU HAVE NOT HEARD FROM US, PLEASE CONTACT US IMMEDIATELY.
The change will automatically be taken into account in survivor benefits paid to civil partners and same sex spouses in the future.