Dependants’ pensions may be payable on the death of a contributing member (death in service), pensioner or deferred pensioner (a person who has left the Scheme but is not yet able to take their pension). Please note that in this context ‘pensioner’ means a former contributor of the Scheme; no further benefits are payable following the death of a dependant.
A pension is payable for life to the widow or widower of a Scheme member. The trustees have a discretionary power to pay the pension normally payable to a spouse to an alternative beneficiary. This could be someone who was dependant on the member at their date of death or who had the care and maintenance of the member’s child or children at their date of death. If a claim is made for an alternative beneficiary’s pension, the trustees will require evidence of financial dependency from the claimant to help them make their decision. The trustees have the power to split the pension if there is more than one beneficiary and to review and stop payment.
A registered civil partner would qualify for the same benefits as payable to a legal spouse but only in respect of the proportion of deceased member’s pension relating to service after 5 December 2005. A civil partner may be awarded an additional pension in respect of the deceased member’s service prior to 5 December 2005 under the discretionary provisions for alternative beneficiaries outlined in the previous paragraph.
In the event that a spouse/alternative beneficiary becomes entitled to more than one dependant’s pension from the IWMPS, only the highest of the pensions will be payable.
The benefits payable are explained below.
Pension payable on death in service
A pension of ⅔rds of the member’s pension (based on the member’s actual years of Contributing Service1 ) is payable.
A member died age 40 with 15 years Contributing Service and Pensionable Earnings2 of £20,000. IWMPS pensions accrue at a rate of 1/60th of Pensionable Earnings for each year of a member’s Contributing Service, so the pension that would have been payable to the member is:
1/60 x £20,000 x 15 years = £5,000
The pension payable on death is therefore:
£5,000 x ⅔ = £3,333.34
Pension payable on the death of a pensioner
A pension of ⅔rds of the member’s pension at death (ignoring any adjustment for the levelling option or reduction for early payment) is payable.
Please see the section headed “Stopping a Scheme pension already in payment”.
Pension payable on the death of a deferred pensioner
A pension of ⅔rds of the member’s deferred pension at death is payable.
1 Contributing Service is the member’s total IWMPS service, including transferred in service, up to a maximum of 40 years.
2 Pensionable Earnings is the weekly average of the member’s best three consecutive years’ earnings out of the last 13 tax years (i.e. each year ending 5 April). Earnings for the tax year in which the member left Contributing Service will also be taken into account if this gives the highest three years average. Earnings may receive an adjustment for inflation before the three yearly averages are calculated.