When the Pension Section is notified of your death, they will write to your next of Kin to request a copy of the death certificate and any other relevant certificates to confirm entitlement to a Survivor’s Pension.
When a survivor’s entitlement has been established and the relevant benefits calculated, the recipient will be informed in writing of the pension payable. The pension commences immediately after your death for the rest of their life and will increase every year in line with the cost of living.
The survivor benefits payable depend upon when you retired.
If you retired on or before 31 March 2008, a survivor’s pension will be automatically payable to your spouse or registered civil partner.
If you retired on or after 1 April 2008, a survivor’s pension is also automatically payable to your eligible Co-habiting Partner, subject to certain qualifying conditions. Cohabiting Partner’s pensions were not introduced into the LGPS until 1 April 2008 and therefore a pension is not payable to a cohabiting partner if you retired before that date.
The Survivor’s pension is calculated as follows:
If you retired on or before 31 March 2014
1/160 x your final pay x the membership your pension is based on
Please note that if you retired on or before 31 March 2008 a higher rate of survivor’s pension may be payable for a short period after your date of death.
If you retired on or after 1 April 2014
1/160 x your final pay x any membership in the scheme up to 31 March 2014; plus
1/160 x your pensionable pay x your membership in the scheme after 31 March 2014; plus
49/160 of the amount of any pension credited to your pension account following a transfer of pension rights (if applicable)
Please note, if you marry after your retirement, the pension may be calculated on less membership.
Qualifying conditions for a Co-habiting Partner
A survivor’s pension, as calculated above, is paid to a Co-habiting partner provided all of the following conditions have applied for a continuous period of at least 2 years before your death:
- You both are, and have been, free to marry each other or form a civil partnership with each other
- You are living together as if you are husband and wife, or civil partners
- Neither of you is living with someone else as if they were husband and wife or civil partners
- Either your cohabiting partner is financially dependent on you or you are financially interdependent on each other.
Your partner is financially dependent on you if you have the highest income. Financially interdependent means that you rely on your joint finances to support your standard of living. It doesn’t mean that you need to be contributing equally. For example, if your partner’s income is a lot more than yours, he or she may pay the mortgage and most of the bills and you may pay for the weekly shopping.
Please note, the amount payable to your cohabiting partner will be less than that payable to a spouse or registered civil partner if you have elected not to pay additional contributions in respect of any membership before 6 April 1988.
Additional Voluntary Contributions
If you are receiving an annuity from any of the in-house AVC providers (Equitable Life, Aegon Scottish Equitable or Prudential), that provider will also need to be notified of your death. If you elected to include a survivor’s provision from your AVC fund, the provider will arrange payment of a survivor’s annuity.
Where a member was receiving additional pension as a result of paying Additional Regular Contributions (ARCs), the Survivor’s Pension, if originally incorporated into the contract, is paid at half of the rate of the member’s additional pension.