What happens to your pension when you die
If you die when your pension is in payment, there may be benefits payable to your:
- civil partner
- cohabiting partner
- dependent children
- nominated persons
- chosen charitable organisation
You may be able to get an estimated value of the benefits payable in the event of your death by using the benefit projector tool on My Pension Online.
In some circumstances a one-off lump sum death grant is payable to a nominated person(s) or charitable trust.
If you are under age 75 and stopped paying into the LGPS on or after 1 April 2008 the death grant is 10 years annual pension, minus what has already been paid to you.
If you are under age 75 and you stopped paying into the LGPS between 1 April 1998 and 31 March 2008, the death grant is 5 years annual pension, minus what has already been paid to you.
If you stopped paying into the LGPS before 1 April 1998
If you stopped paying into the LGPS before 1 April 1998, there may be a death grant payable if:
- you have less than 10 years reckonable service used in the calculation of your pension, but you have had your pension in payment for less than 5 years
- you have more than 10 years reckonable service used in the calculation of your pension
Nominate someone to receive the death grant
You can tell us who you would like to receive the death grant by making a nomination on My Pension Online or by completing an expression of wish form (PDF, 565KB). You can nominate more than one person, allocating a percentage to each.
In the event that you pass away, we can normally pay the death grant straight to your nominated person(s) without waiting for probate.
The tax office may consider the money excluded from your estate and not deduct any inheritance tax. However, if you do not make a nomination, we may have to pay your death grant into your estate and it will be dealt with according to the terms of the law. We advise pensioners to consult a solicitor if you are unsure of what to do.
In some cases we may not be able to pay the death grant to the nominated person or organisation. This could be because:
- the nominated person has died
- the chosen charity is now defunct
- the nominated person is no longer your spouse/partner/civil partner/cohabiting partner
- the Pensions Administration Manager consider that it wouldn't be reasonable to pay the death grant to the nominated person or charity due to the particular circumstance
Survivor and dependant pensions
In addition to the death grant, there may be annual pensions payable for a qualifying spouse, civil partner, cohabiting partner and children.
If you have more than one LGPS account (active, deferred or pensioner), held either at Buckinghamshire or another LGPS fund, survivor’s pensions are payable for each.
You can tell us about anyone that may be entitled to a survivor’s pension via my pension online. We will always ask for evidence and relevant official documents before paying out any survivor’s pension.
Click on the sections below to see who can receive a survivor's pension, eligibility criteria and how the survivors pension is calculated.
If you paid extra into your pension
Some extra pension payments will not count towards the calculation of survivor’s pensions.
Extra contributions to your pension will not count towards a survivors pension if they were:
- Additional Pension Contributions (APC)
- Shared Cost Additional Pension Contributions (SCAPC)
- Additional Regular Contributions (ARC)
Any membership purchased through LGPS added years (before 1 April 2008) will be included in the calculation of children’s pensions but will only be included for a surviving partner’s pension if you were married, cohabiting or in a civil partnership with them while you were paying in.
Guaranteed Minimum Pension (GMP) protection
If you have Guaranteed Minimum Pension protection, then a surviving widow is entitled to receive this protection in the calculation of a surviving partner’s pension. Widowers and civil partners will only receive GMP protection in the calculation of pension benefits built up between 6 April 1988 and 5 April 1997.
Trivially commuting a survivor’s or dependant’s pension
If the value of a survivor’s or dependant’s pension pot is under £30,000, they may be able to give up their LGPS pension rights in exchange for a one-off lump sum payment. This is called trivial commutation. If your survivors are eligible for this option, we can supply an estimate upon request. Find out how to Take your pension as a lump sum.
Contact us about your pension
Details of how to Contact us about your pension