If you are a dependant or spouse of a member, here is some information about what happens when a member of the Fund dies – how to let the Fund know, and what you need to do to claim benefits.
To ensure benefits are paid to the right people and as quickly as possible, it’s important that the Trustee has an up-to-date nomination on the member’s account. Members need to nominate who they’d like to receive any lump sum payment that’s eligible. If the member is not married, in a civil partnership or has a partner who is financially dependent on them, they’ll also need to nominate who they’d like to receive a partner’s/dependant’s pension.
A step-by-step guide for loved ones
Here’s an idea of the typical steps that need to be taken by a loved one (or legal representative) of a member who has died.
- Actions for loved ones (or legal representative)
- Actions for us, the administrator
Report the death to the bank or to us
If the member was still working at the bank:
- the bank will appoint a liaison manager and they will be the contact for all benefit questions
- the liaison manager will be in touch and collect the relevant information and certificates
- the bank will then contact us.
If the member had left the bank, you can report a death online.
We’ll work out what benefits are payable
This could be a spouse or dependent pension, children's allowances and/or a lump sum.
You send in some paperwork
We’ll need the following (if not already provided to the bank through Step 1):
- a certified copy of the death certificate
- a certified copy of your marriage certificate (if applicable)
- a certified copy of the member’s spouse’s/partner’s birth certificate (if applicable)
- certified copies of birth certificates for any children who may qualify for an allowance
- the bank’s completed Death in Service information (i.e. nomination) form*; and
- a copy of the member’s Will.
* This is different to the nominations members make on their pension record.
We’ll process your benefits
- We will look at all of the information provided, together with the nomination held on the member’s pension record.
- We’d then ask the Trustee for approval on how to pay any benefits. This step could take some time as the Trustee needs to consider all of the relevant information and who should receive benefits. Although you may have let us know who you would like to receive benefits and your wishes are taken into account, the Trustee ultimately makes the final decision. The Trustee may also need to get legal advice before it can make its final decision.
We’ll send out letters to those receiving benefits
- These letters would include instructions on what to do next.
- They will also include a Benefit Election Form and Payment Instruction Form.
You complete and return the forms
- Anyone receiving benefits needs to complete the Benefit Election Form and Payable Instruction Form and return them to us.
We’ll pay benefits
- Once we have everything we need, we’ll pay any lump sum benefits and start paying any pensions.
- We’ll also write to anyone receiving a pension, to let them know when the first payment will be made (pensions payments are paid on the 18th of each month).
How long will it take?
The whole process can take a number of months to complete. In particular, where a lump sum is payable, it can often take quite a long time (often a few months) to get all the relevant information together. Once we’ve received completed Payment Instruction Forms and relevant bank details, we’d typically aim to finalise benefits within 5 working days. This will be longer if the member has APeCs and/or AVCs as we will need to take the extra step of selling investments first before any payments can be made.
What else you should know
Keep these details handy
The Trustee makes the final decision
Some of the Fund’s death benefits, like lump sums, are paid at the Trustee’s discretion. This means that while the member’s wishes are taken into account, the Trustee ultimately makes the final decision.