Will my family receive a lump sum?

If you die in service as a member of the LGPS a lump sum death grant of at least three times your assumed pensionable pay at your date of death is paid, no matter how long you have been a member of the LGPS, provided you are under age 75 at the date of death.

The assumed pensionable pay for these purposes is calculated as the average of the pensionable pay you received for the 12 weeks (or 3 months if monthly paid) before you died in service or before you left employment due to ill-health retirement. In calculating the average, any reduction due to authorised leave of absence or due to a trade dispute is ignored. Also, where an independent registered medical practitioner certifies that, during the period used to determine assumed pensionable pay, you were working reduced contractual hours because of the ill-health which led to your retirement or death in service, the assumed pensionable pay is to be calculated on the pay you would have received during that period had you not been working reduced contractual hours. The resulting figure is then grossed up to an annual figure.

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If you have a deferred benefit and / or a pension in payment from a previous period of membership of the scheme, and the death grant payable in respect of one of those benefits is greater the death grant from those benefits would be payable instead.

 If you pay Additional Voluntary Contributions (AVCs) arranged through the LGPS (in-house AVCs), the value of your AVC fund is also payable, as is any extra life cover.

Can I choose who will receive any lump sum payable?

The ERPF has absolute discretion over who receives any lump sum death grant however, the LGPS allows you to express your wish as to who you would like any death grant to be paid to by completing and returning the Death Grant Expression of Wish form.

If you have not already completed this form, or you wish to change your wishes then you can download the form below:

Death Grant Expression of Wish form (pdf 1mb opens in new window)

Unfortunately, the ERPF will only accept Expression of Wish forms with original signatures so this form cannot be completed online.

Can I purchase Additional Life Cover?

The Prudential allow you to pay Additional Voluntary Contributions (AVCs) for the purpose of purchasing additional life cover under the scheme. Further details are available from Prudential:

Visit the Prudential website (external website)

You may wish to seek Independent Financial Advice before purchasing Life Cover benefits.

Will my spouse or partner receive a pension?

An ongoing pension is provided for your spouse, registered civil partner or, subject to certain qualifying conditions, your eligible cohabiting partner. This pension is payable immediately after your death for the rest of their life and will increase every year in line with the cost of living. 

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For each year of membership you built up from 1 April 2014 to your date of death you would have been credited with a pension equal to a proportion (i.e. 1/49th or, for any period you were in the 50/50 section of the scheme, 1/98th) of the pensionable pay (or assumed pensionable pay where applicable) you received during that year. The pension payable to your spouse or civil partner is calculated on a different proportion i.e. 1/160th of your pensionable pay (or assumed pensionable pay where applicable) to which is added 49/160ths of the amount of any pension credited to your pension account following a transfer of pension rights into the scheme from another pension scheme or arrangement, plus an amount equal to 1/160th of your assumed pensionable pay for each year of membership you would have built up from your date of death to your Normal Pension Age.

For final salary membership built up before 1 April 2014 the pension payable is equal to 1/160th of your final pay times the period of your membership in the scheme up to 31 March 2014.  For pensions payable to eligible cohabiting partners, only membership from 5 April 1988 will count, unless you elected before 1 April 2014 to purchase service before this date so that it counts towards an eligible cohabiting partner's pension.

The assumed pensionable pay for these purposes is calculated as the average of the pensionable pay you received for the 12 weeks (or 3 months if monthly paid) before you died in service or before you left employment due to ill-health retirement. In calculating the average, any reduction due to authorised leave of absence or due to a trade dispute is ignored. Also, where an independent registered medical practitioner certifies that, during the period used to determine assumed pensionable pay, you were working reduced contractual hours because of the ill-health which led to your retirement or death in service, the assumed pensionable pay is to be calculated on the pay you would have received during that period had you not been working reduced contractual hours. The resulting figure is then grossed up to an annual figure.

For a cohabiting partner to be entitled to receive a survivor’s pension your relationship has to meet certain conditions laid down by the LGPS.

An eligible cohabiting partner is a partner you are living with who, at the date of your death, has met all of the following conditions for a continuous period of at least 2 years:

  • you and your cohabiting partner are, and have been, free to marry each other or enter into a civil partnership with each other, and
  • you and your cohabiting partner have been living together as if you were a married couple, or civil partners, and
  • neither you or your cohabiting partner have been living with someone else as if you/they were a married couple or civil partners, and
  • either your cohabiting partner is, and has been, financially dependent on you or you are, and have been, 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.

On your death, a survivor’s pension would be paid to your cohabiting partner if:

  • all of the above criteria apply at the date of your death, and
  • your cohabiting partner satisfies the ERPF that the above conditions had been met for a continuous period of at least 2 years immediately prior to your death.

You are not required to complete a form to nominate a cohabiting partner for entitlement to a cohabiting partner’s pension. However, you can provide the ERPF with your cohabiting partner’s details. The ERPF will require evidence upon your death to check that the conditions for a cohabiting partner's pension are met.

Where an independent registered medical practitioner certifies that, during the period used to determine assumed pensionable pay, you were working reduced contractual hours because of the ill-health which led to death in service, the assumed pensionable pay is calculated on the pay you would have received during that period had you not been working reduced contractual hours.

If you are paying extra contributions to purchase additional benefits you can find out how these affect the benefits payable on your death in service here  DIS contracts list

Will my children receive a pension?

Eligible children will receive a pension that will increase every year in line with the cost of living. 

The amount of pension depends on the number of eligible children you have and whether a survivor’s pension is being paid to your spouse, civil partner or eligible cohabiting partner.

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Where an independent registered medical practitioner certifies that, during the period used to determine assumed pensionable pay, you were working reduced contractual hours because of the ill-health which led to death in service, the assumed pensionable pay is calculated on the pay you would have received during that period had you not been working reduced contractual hours.

The assumed pensionable pay for these purposes is calculated as the average of the pensionable pay you received for the 12 weeks (or 3 months if monthly paid) before you died in service or before you left employment due to ill-health retirement. In calculating the average, any reduction due to authorised leave of absence or due to a trade dispute is ignored. Also, where an independent registered medical practitioner certifies that, during the period used to determine assumed pensionable pay, you were working reduced contractual hours because of the ill-health which led to your retirement or death in service, the assumed pensionable pay is to be calculated on the pay you would have received during that period had you not been working reduced contractual hours. The resulting figure is then grossed up to an annual figure.

If you are in the 50/50 section of the scheme when you die this does not impact on the value of any pension for your spouse, civil partner, eligible cohabiting partner or eligible children.

Eligible children are your children. They must, at the date of your death:

  • be your natural child (who must be born within 12 months of your death), or
  • be your adopted child, or
  • be your step-child or a child accepted by you as being a member of your family (this doesn’t include a child you sponsor for charity) and be dependent on you.

Eligible children must meet the following conditions:

  • be under age 18, or
  • be aged 18 or over and under 23 and in full-time education or vocational training (although the ERPF can continue to treat the child as an eligible child notwithstanding a break in full-time education or vocational training), or
  • be unable to engage in gainful employment because of physical or mental impairment and either:
  • has not reached the age of 23, or
  • the impairment is, in the opinion of an independent registered medical practitioner, likely to be permanent and the child was dependent on you at the date of your death because of that mental or physical impairment.

For details on how children’s pensions are calculated see here childrens calc document.

If you are paying extra contributions to purchase additional benefits you can find out how these affect the benefits payable on your death in service here  DIS contracts list

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