Do you lose your NHS Pension benefits when you die?

Did you know that the NHS Pension Scheme provides valuable benefits to spouses, civil partners, partners and dependent children on the death of an NHS Pension Scheme member? Most people don’t!

NHS Pension Benefits

These lump sum and pension benefits are included in the cost of the superannuation scheme for all NHS Pension members. They vary slightly depending on whether you’re a member of the 1995 Scheme or the 2008 Scheme. So how much is your next of kin entitled to?

First things first, the eligibility criteria!

For your next of kin to be eligible for your NHS Pension entitlement, certain criteria have to be met. You need to:

  1. Be married, in a registered civil partnership or with a qualifying partner.
  2. Be a member of the NHS Pension Scheme for a minimum of 2 years.
  3. Meet further criteria if you are not married or in a civil partnership, and fill in a nomination form for your qualifying partner.

If you’re not married or in a civil partnership, the NHS Pensions Agency has the right NOT to pay out your NHS Pension entitlement’s widows/widowers benefits. However, if you complete a Partner Nomination Form (PN1), you can nominate your partner to receive a survivor pension after your death.

Your application will be registered by NHS Pensions subject to the following (yes more!) criteria:

  1. The NHS Pensions Agency has received a correctly completed PN1 signed by you and your partner.
  2. You and your partner have been living together in an exclusive long term relationship for at least 2 years.
  3. You and your partner are free to marry or enter into a civil partnership.
  4. You are both financially interdependent ie you rely on joint finances but do not need to contribute equally.

The key benefits

So what exactly are the key benefits of the life cover provided by the NHS to active NHS Pension Scheme members? In essence, they are:

1. Payment of a lump sum to your dependents based on 2 x annual pensionable pay or average uprated earnings for practitioners. For example, a consultant on a salary of £110,000 would have £220,000 of life cover (tax free)

2. Dependent’s pension for your widow, widower, civil partner or nominated partner

3. Children’s pension, paid until age 23

How much is paid out varies slightly depending on whether you’re a member of the 1995 Section or the 2008 Section:

Summary of the Benefits of the NHS Pension Scheme 1995 Section
Summary of the Benefits of the NHS Pension Scheme 2008 Section

Where is your NHS Pension entitlement going to go when you die? Is it where you want it to go? Let us know below.

108 thoughts on “Do you lose your NHS Pension benefits when you die?

  1. susan davies

    What happens when a family member dies, they had special needs and was not explained about adding nominee to receive the payment, where can I take this higher as they had next of kin

    Reply
    1. Max Spurgeon

      Hi Susan, The Death in service benefits vary a little depending on which scheme you are a member of. If married/civil partnership there is normally no need for a nomination. If you have a partner where there is a financial dependency or inter dependency then it is advisable to complete the nomination form. If this has not been completed then I would suggest contacting the NHS pensions agency. The following document explains the death in service benefits on the last page http://www.nhsbsa.nhs.uk/Documents/Pensions/nhs_pd_changes_in_detail.pdf

      Reply
  2. Josh

    Hello hope someone can help. My father has informed me he has left his nhs pension to me in his will. He has been retired about 5 years now. But I’m still not sure what he means when he has left his pension to me?

    Any help on understanding this would be great.

    Reply
  3. Mrs D Hawcroft

    hi

    my son died last year while working as a physio in the NHS, his wife was pregnant and the baby has just been born , however when she has tried to register him for the childrens pension it has been turned down as he was not dependant at the time of my sons death. This seems a bit harsh. Is there anything we can do to appeal this.

    Reply
    1. Max Spurgeon

      Dear Mrs Hawcroft
      I am sorry to hear of your loss. I have looked into this matter and was wondering if you could give me a call on 07771 862587.
      Kind Regards
      Max

      Reply
  4. Myrah

    Hi.
    I am on nhs pension , I am single . Ive been paying nhs pension for 15 years.Is it possible that my mom who is 70 years old would receive my pension , or am I just wasting my money paying nhs pension?

    Reply
    1. Max Spurgeon

      Hi Myrah.
      The NHS provide death in service benefits and you would be able to nominate your mother. The NHS pension is aimed at providing you with an income in retirement. It can provide for a spouse or somebody who you have been in a financially dependent relationship for at least two years as well as dependent children. It would not provide a pension for your mother. This is not to say that the pension is a waste of money as it provides numerous benefits to yourself. The NHS has a good factsheet on the various benefits that the pension scheme offers. I hope this helps.
      REgards
      Max

      Reply
  5. Elaine

    My brothers wife died suddenly, she had only been working for the NHS for 5 months would she have been entitled to death in service pension.

    Reply
  6. Louise

    Hi, I have undergone treatment for breast cancer and just returned to work after a year. I have paid into NHS superannuation scheme for 23 years. I have no children , or partner. I know that I will not live to retirement age. Will NHS pension provide a lump sum on my death that would cover any debts and or funeral costs? Or should I stop paying now and have money whilst I am still alive. Thank you

    Reply
    1. Max Spurgeon

      Dear Louise,
      I am very sorry to hear about your situation. As you can imagine it is difficult to give advice without knowing the full details. The NHS offers a serious ill health lump sum and an ill health pension which should be considered before you make any decisions about coming out of the scheme. The details can be found at the following link http://www.nhsbsa.nhs.uk/Documents/Pensions/2015_Members_Guide_(V4)_03.2016_-_digital.pdf
      We wish you all the best
      Kind Regards
      L&M team

      Reply
  7. Susan

    Hello I wonder if you could point me in right direction. I finished work in May 2016 due to ill health and I have just been granted my nhs pension tier 2. I’m in a bit of a quandary as to whether it would be advisable to take an addition lump sum from my pension and take a smaller yearly pension. I know this will obviously differ due to circumstances but just wondered what the general advice would be
    Many thanks for any help you can give

    Reply
    1. Max Spurgeon

      Hi Susan
      This type of advice is very personalised so it is not something we would make recommendations on without knowing the full details. We would always suggest putting together a detailed list of your expenditure, therefore giving you an idea of what income you require. This can act as your starting point as you would not wish to reduce your income below this point. The NHS pension is indexed and this is a valuable benefit so you need to give careful consideration before relinquishing it for a one off payment.

      Kind REgards

      Max

      Reply
  8. Nisha Espinosa

    Hello. I work for the NHS but I have grade 3 Cancer.I am currently on sick leave. I may have to leave work. What will happen to my pension.I have worked for the NHS for 11 years.

    Reply
    1. Max Spurgeon

      Dear Nisha
      I am sorry to hear about yur situation. I would suggest that you contact the NHS pensions agency or your local pensions officer and discuss whether the ill health pension is appropriate in your circumstances. The number for the helpline is 03003301346.
      Wishing you all the best for the future.

      Legal and Medical Team

      Reply
    1. Max Spurgeon

      Dear Paul
      The normal payment of a dependents pension is until age 23. There are a few exceptions to this rule. If you wish confirmation you can contact the NHS Pensions agency.

      Kind Regards

      Max

      Reply
  9. Alison Newman

    Hi
    My fiancé and I are both NHS employees. When we retire and one of us dies does their pension automatically continue to be paid to the surviving partner or does this stop when they die?

    Reply
    1. Max Spurgeon

      Dear Alison
      The NHS have a dependents/spousal option. This means that when one of you passes away the other would receive a dependents pension, although at a reduced level. If you are are not married or in a civil partnership then it is a little more complex. The details can be found on the NHS pension website http://www.nhsbsa.nhs.uk/pensions. You will need to look in the appropriate scheme guide.

      Kind Regards

      Max

      Reply
  10. Dr G WS Burgess

    Good morning
    I retired in 1992 with an ill-health retirement pension. I took the larger lump sum available at the time. This was uprated when I reached the age of 60. Will this affect any pension paid to my widow when I die? I joined the scheme in 1969.
    Many thanks

    Reply
  11. Mr C barker

    Hi I wonder if you could help, my mother worked for the health service for number of years and she been retired for over twenty years but just died few days ago, but my father died 3 months ago, so what I am asking will she have a death payment due from her pension as she got No children under 23 and I am sorting out her estate as a rep of her will, I have contacted the pensions dept to inform them of her death.

    Reply
    1. Max Spurgeon

      Dear Mr Barker

      I am sorry to hear of the loss of both your parents. You have done the right thing and spoken to the NHS pension agency and I believe they will confirm that no lump sum or dependents pension will be payable.

      Kind Regards

      Max

      Reply
  12. Michelle McGuiness

    I’m a right in thinking that the 2015 scheme that we were all moved to if I die my pension goes to my husband. I have a son who has autism once he is 23 can i remove my husband and put son as my beneficiary as he has autism and we feel he would benefit from my pension as my not work when older due to disability. I also have money frozen in the 95 scheme can i do same with that one

    Reply
    1. Max Spurgeon

      Hi Michelle,

      Its not a question of you choosing who gets to recieve the benefits, these are laid down by scheme. There are cases where the chidrens benefit can be paid out past age 23. This is detailed on p38 of the scheme booklet and states, “If the child remains unable to earn a living due to a condition which existed at the date of your death, the childrens pension can be paid indefinitely”
      Kind REgards

      Max

      Reply
  13. Tom

    Hi
    My mother passed away unexpectedly in December at the age of 52. She had not been in employment for around 10 years or so however she used to be a member of the NHS pension scheme and she definitely had at least 4 years service. After speaking to the bereavement department they sent me a letter through the post informing me that there was no money owed from the estate.
    This has confused me. Being a DB scheme I was expecting there to be some sort of death lump sum, especially with a few years of service. She never filled out a nomination form however she does have a civil partner. Could you help me please?

    Reply
    1. Max Spurgeon

      Dear Tom,
      I am sorry to hear of your loss. The death in service lump sum is payable whilst a member of the scheme and for a short period after leaving. The pension has a dependendents section, and can cover registered civil partnerships based on membership from 6th April 1988. If this is the case i would suggest your late mothers civil partner contact the pensions agency.
      Kind Regards

      Max

      Reply
  14. Steve

    My wife was a nurse in the nhs for about 20 years before she was medically retired on the grounds of ill health. She is 50 now and has been receiving her pension for about 10 years.

    Her health has been deteriorating recently and we wanted to know what benefit I would receive in the event of her passing away.

    Thanks

    Reply
    1. Max Spurgeon

      Dear Steve,
      I think the most appropriate course of action would be to speak directly to the NHS pension scheme. There are a number of factors that can influence the spousal pension. I expect you require an exact amount for your financial planning and only the pensions agency will be able to provide this.

      Kind Regards

      L&M Team

      Reply
  15. Michael Carpenter

    A relative of mine (an NHS employee) recently passed away. I understand that he was part of the 2008 scheme. The deceased was single, and thus nominated another relative to receive his death in service lump sum benefit. The NHS informed me that this pay-out should be included in the deceased’s estate for inheritance tax purposes. Does that accord with your understanding of the scheme? I was under the impression that the vast majority of death in service pay-outs were free from inheritance tax (possibly due to their discretionary nature).

    Reply
    1. Max Spurgeon

      Hi Michael
      Inheritance tax is the responsibility of the HMRC and the death in service benefits can be liable to IHT if the member is single. Probably not the answer you are looking for, sorry.

      Kind Regards

      L&M team

      Reply
    1. Max Spurgeon

      Dear Helga,

      You would be able to nominate your son for the lump sum, although the spousal pension is not assignable.

      Kind Regards

      L&M team

      Reply
  16. Regor

    My wife died 4 years ago, (78 years old) and I have been unable to claim a widows pension from the scheme. Could she have (i) signed a disclaimer, (ii) accepted a higher pension, but with no spouse pension if she dies? Are there any other reason this could have happened?

    Reply
    1. Max Spurgeon

      Dear Roger,
      The only thing i can think of, is there was a period where there were no spousal options on pensions for females. To my knowledge there were no disclaimers or the ability to accept higher pensions. Am i right in thinking that you have spoken to the pensions agency?

      Kind Regards

      L&M team

      Reply
  17. Janet porter

    I am in receipt of a nhs nursing pension, I’m 68 years old and want to know could my husband put a claim into the nhs pensions when I pass away.

    Reply
    1. Max Spurgeon

      Hi Janet,
      I think you may be reffering to the benefits your husband would recieve on your passing. He is likely to be eligible for a spousal pension. The amount that he is entitled to can be ascertained by speaking to the NHS pensions agency. It may also be detailed on correspondence that you have recieved from the NHS pensions agency.

      Kind Regards

      L&M team

      Reply
  18. rancliff@hotmail.co.uk

    Hi,
    Mum my worked in the NHS for 30+ years and was diagnosed with cancer in January. She was advised to not take her pension as she would get 4 x the pay out. Do you know if this is correct? Sadly she passed away last week. I understand my dad get part of the pension and then there is a tax free lump sum as well? Thanks in advance. Richard

    Reply
    1. Max Spurgeon

      Dear Richard,

      I am sorry to hear of the loss of your mother. It is difficult to give information without knowing the full details of your circumstances. There is normally full pay for a few months at which point there would be a spousal pension and possibly a tax free element. The NHS offer a bereavement line which is very helpful. Your father would be well advised to contact them in order to get accurate information. If you phone 0300 3301 346, they will be able to put you through to the appropriate department.

      Kind Regards

      L&M Team

      Reply
  19. Zeena app

    Hi,

    My mother passed away in 2012 and my father passed away in 2013. I was paid the child allowance part of both pensions till I turned 23. However, I continued to study full time at university till the age of 24.
    My mother had received her pension for 5 years, however my father did not receive his pension for 5 years. I was the only child to both parents.
    I was not told until recently that I could have potentially been entitled to the child allowance payments till I graduated.
    Is there anything I can do to reclaim the money I would have been entitled to?

    Reply
    1. Max Spurgeon

      Hi
      Typically the dependents pension is only payable to age 23. There are a couple of sceanrios where this can be extended. I would speak to the pensions agency to see if you should have been entitled to the pension past age 23. Needless to say it is not as simple as the fact that you were in higher education at this point.

      Kind Regards

      Max

      Reply
      1. Zeena App

        Hello,

        My late mother and father also had a dependent grandchild who lived with them and was cared for primarily by them.
        Would that dependant grandchild be entitled to their pension?
        What is considered a dependant grandchild?

        Reply
        1. Max Spurgeon

          Hi there

          A dependent child can be a grandchild under the terms of the pension scheme.

          Benefits are usually paid to a maximum age of 23 but:

          “If the child is aged 23 and over and unable to earn their own living due to a permanent physical or mental condition, which they were suffering at the time the member died, the child will be treated as a dependent child for as long as they remain incapable of earning a living.”

          To make a claim form AW158 needs to be completed.

          Best wishes owen

          Reply
  20. MRS KELLY WOODHOUSE

    Hi my husband cashed in his pension 3 years ago at the age of 56 he was given a lump sum and monthly payments he had paid in membership for 15 and a half years he was part of the 1995 scheme he has sadly recently passed away as his wife of 27 years am I entitled to any lump some or monthly payments if so how long to them payments last
    Many thanks
    Kellie

    Reply
    1. Max Spurgeon

      Dear Kellie,

      I am sorry to hear of the loss of your husband. You should be entitled to a spousal pension that is payable for your lifetime. I would suggest you speak to the pensions agency who have a bereavement team. They will be able to provide you with the exact details. I hope this helps.

      Kind Regards

      Legal and Medical Team.

      Reply
  21. sarah babbs

    my mom died in 2005. my dad currently recieves the widows pension.but at the time of death myself was 21 and my sister was 20.we never recieved any childrens payments.

    Reply
    1. Max Spurgeon

      Dear Sarah,
      Although the dependents pension is typically now payable to age 23, it has not always been this way. Previously the dependents pension was payable to age 18, with further payments made if the dependent remained in education.

      Kind Regards

      L&M team

      Reply
  22. Liz

    Hi, my partner of 15 years worked for the NHS for 13 years but retired on ill health one and a half years ago. He accepted & received the tier 1 payout. He has recently passed away without leaving a will. He nominated myself to receive a survivers pension on his Death in Service but he did not fill the PN1 after retiring on ill health. His children and myself are now questioning if I am still entitled to the survivers pension or if any money will go to his estate.

    Reply
    1. Max Spurgeon

      Dear Karen,

      The NHS pension booklet stipulates that the member must complete a PN1 form, failure to do so will mean that the partner will not be considered for payment of a dependents pension. I doubt this is what you want to hear in what must be a difficult time. It may be worth contacting the pensions agency to see if they can be of assistance.

      Kind Regards

      L&M team

      Reply
  23. Catherine Harper

    Hello

    Please could you tell me the entitlement of children in Higher Education.

    I have 3 children and the benefits from my late husband’s pension weren’t paid when they were at university due to admin error. Had they received the money at the time they would not have been liable for tax.

    Their entitlement was then calculated and a lump sum was paid, but because they were working at the time, tax was deducted at source. Do I have any redress?

    One of my daughter remained in HE until 29, was she entitled to any benefit or is there an age cut off?

    Many thanks

    Reply
    1. Max Spurgeon

      Dear Catherine,
      My apologies for taking a while to reply to this. It is a question that is better answered by an accountant. I spoke to Matt at http://sharpemedical.co.uk/ , who is a medical accounting specialist and he came back with the following;
      Please refer to EIM74103 which deals specifically with the matter raised. The link is here:

      https://www.gov.uk/hmrc-internal-manuals/employment-income-manual/eim74103

      It seems that they will be able to contact the tax office and ask for the liability to be re-calculated by spreading the income back to earlier years. This should be good news for them.

      I Hope this helps

      Kind Regards

      L&M Team

      Reply
  24. Andy

    I received my NHS pension since 1996, and could my wife inherit my pension on my death? Your reply will be most appreciated.

    Reply
    1. Max Spurgeon

      Dear Andy

      Your wife would normally be entitled to a spousal pension, although this is a reducd amount. It may be that some of your service was accrued prior to spousal benefits being introduced, so it would be worth checking with the pensions agency as to the level of her entitlement.

      Kind REgards

      L&M team

      Reply
  25. Andy

    Hi, I started receiving my NHS pension from mid 1996. Could you please let know if my pension could be inherited by my wife on my death. Your reply will be most appreciated.

    Andy.

    Reply
    1. Max Spurgeon

      Hi Andy

      Generally speaking, for the first 3 months a short-term pension is payable to your wife which will be at the same rate as your pension. After this 3-month period, your wife will receive an ongoing pension of half the amount you were in receipt of. However, because you started receiving your NHS pension from mid-1996, you may have service when the spousal benefits were different. I would therefore suggest that you contact the NHS Pensions Agency to get an exact figure.

      I hope that helps.

      Kind regards
      L&M Team

      Reply
  26. Lillisn

    I’ve been paying into the NHS pension for about 9 years lm single and my children are over 23. If l die suddenly does that mean they get nothing

    Reply
    1. Max Spurgeon

      Hi Lillian

      Dependents benefits in these circumstances can be split into two parts, namely death-in-service lump sum and the death-in-service dependents pension. I have assumed that you have no nominated adult (legal or non-legal) beneficiary and that you are still currently a paying member of the 2008 NHS pension scheme.

      Pension: In the event that there is no adult dependent pension payable, an immediate “pension” is payable for six months to your children. This pension will be the equivalent of six months of your pensionable pay at time of death. Beyond this time period a dependent’s pension is payable but children are only deemed financially dependent/reliant, up to a maximum age of 23. One child is entitled to a third of the pension you would be entitled to at time of death. If there are two or more children then two thirds of the pension would be divided between them. However, in the event of your death, as your children are over the age of 23, no ongoing benefit is payable to them. The only exception to this is if one or more of your children are aged 23 or over but “unable to earn a living due to a permanent physical or mental condition which he or she was suffering from at the time of your death.” In these circumstances the dependents pension remains payable.

      (You could consider allocating part of your retirement pension to your children. You have to do this before you retire and you must be fit and well. You cannot change your mind afterwards even if the chosen person were to die before you. Obviously this approach would also reduce the pension you would receive at retirement.)

      Lump sum: If you are single without a nominated qualifying partner, divorced or have terminated a civil partnership, a lump sum will be paid automatically to your estate unless you have nominated anyone on the “Lump sum on death benefit nomination” (DB2) form. In your circumstances, it is important that you nominate your children to receive the lump sum. The lump sum will be the equivalent of two years actual reckonable pay.

      I hope that helps.

      Kind regards
      The L&M Team

      Reply
  27. Marcia

    I retired from NHS six years ago I have received my lump sum. Can nominate one of my children to continue to receive my NHS pension after I die

    Reply
    1. Max Spurgeon

      Dear Marcia,

      The NHS will pay a dependents pension, typically until age 23. If the child remains unable to earn a living due to a condition whcih existed both at your retirement and at the date of your death the children’s pension can be paid indefinitely.
      I hope this answers your question.

      Kind Regards

      Max

      Reply
  28. Sandra

    My ex late husband died 4 years ago, he died in service.
    He had remarried and was previously married to me for 8 years, am I entitled to anything for those 8 years and if so who do I contact.

    Reply
    1. Owen Beswick

      Hi Sandra

      I am assuming that on divorce any settlement will have taken into account assets, savings, pensions etc and, as a result, a monetary settlement reached. I would therefore also assume that consideration was given to the NHS pension benefits of your ex-husband and appropriate benefits granted to you (“Earmarking”) or not as the case may be, if, for instance, your individual settlement consisted of other elements such as residence, savings etc.

      If some of your ex-husband’s pension has been earmarked for you, then you may recognise the term “Pension Credit Member”. This is the term given to individuals who have been awarded part of a former spouse’s/partner’s pension as the result of a Pension Sharing Order.

      In the event of remarriage then the trustees of the NHS pension scheme, in the absence of information to the contrary (an earmarking order for instance), would pay all appropriate benefits due, to your ex-husband’s current spouse.

      I hope this answers your question.

      Best wishes
      Owen

      Reply
  29. James smith

    Hello my name is James smith, my sister took her life recently and worked for the NHS for 16 years as a bio medical scientist. I am trying to look into what she is Intitaled to as we bought a house together and now I am struggling to make ends meet. Your help in this matter would be so helpful

    Kind regards

    James smith

    Reply
    1. Owen Beswick

      Hi James

      Firstly may I express my sincerest condolences in what are tragic circumstances.

      The NHS will pay out a death-in-service gratuity/lump sum regardless of the circumstances surrounding an individual’s death. However, the ongoing pension income benefits that your sister built up within the scheme are only usually paid out to a spouse or partner and dependent children in the event of her death. I have spoken to the NHS Pensions Agency this morning and my feeling is that it is unlikely, even if you can prove financial dependency with regards to the mortgage payment, that you would, in turn, be able to claim some of the ongoing pension. In these circumstances you may only have some claim to the death-in-service gratuity/lump sum.

      The gratuity forms part of your sister’s estate and you would be well advised to engage a solicitor/legal representative. I do not know if your sister nominated you/family members/others to receive her death-in-service lump sum. You or your personal legal representative will be able to find this out and move forward from this point.

      If you call the NHS Pensions helpline on 0300 3301346 they should also be able to help you move things forward.

      Best wishes
      Owen

      Reply
  30. Damon Theobald

    Good afternoon,
    My wife passed away in January 2016, we have received a death in service sum and we are now receiving a pension for me and a pension for the children. I asked if this can be paid as a lump sum but been told no as it is greater than £200. is this true?

    Reply
    1. Owen Beswick

      Hi Damon

      Firstly may I pass on my condolences at what must still be a very difficult time.

      The short answer is that you are not able to commute either your widower’s pension or dependent’s pension in favour of a lump sum. You are probably aware that your pension is payable for your lifetime. The dependent’s pension is payable whilst your children remain dependent and under the age of 23, or aged 23 or over and incapable of earning a living due to permanent physical or mental infirmity from which he/she was suffering at the time your wife died.

      Best wishes
      Owen

      Reply
  31. Lisa hunter

    Hi my mum worked for the nhs in the canteen for 3 years in 1978. She died in 2012, but someone recently told me she would of payed into an nhs pension scheme. My father(her husband) is still alive. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
    Thank you

    Reply
    1. Owen Beswick

      Hi Lisa

      Unfortunately widowers benefits were/are not available for service that accrued pre April 6th 1988.

      Best wishes
      Owen

      Reply
  32. rob carlin

    hi i wonder if you can help me. i have 25 years and 28 days service as a staff nurse within the nhs lanarkshire, i am i believe on the older nhs pension 1995 scheme,i am now aged 57 on may and was wondering if i retired what lump sums are available to me and monthly pension, is there a small lump sum and a large lump sum ? which would be beneficial for me to take and would my monthly pension reduce if the larger lump sum taken ?
    thank you in advance for any help
    rob c

    Reply
    1. Owen Beswick

      Hi Rob

      You are correct – you can elect to receive “standard” NHS pension benefits or “non-standard” benefits. Non-standard benefits result when a member of the NHS pension decides to give up (commute) some of their standard NHS pension income benefits, in favour of a bigger tax free lump sum. The Total Rewards Statement (TRS) will show you standard and non-standard benefits. You can apply for a TRS Statement through the Government/NHS Gateway. The link to get you started is https://www.nhsbsa.nhs.uk/total-reward-statements

      Good luck with your retirement!

      Best wishes
      Owen

      Reply
  33. Sana Aslam

    Hi,
    I have been working in Nhs since last 12 yrs . I am married with 2 children(aged 14 and 18) . Do i need to fill DB2 form in order to nominate my Lum sum pension equally among three of them. I understand that my spouse will automatically receive spouse pension? Thanks in advance

    Reply
    1. Owen Beswick

      Hi Sana

      Yes, complete form DB2 and the nominees will receive your death-in-service lump sum in the proportion that you have indicated.

      Best wishes
      Owen

      Reply
  34. Joanna

    Hi
    My husband has recently passed away the age of 61 and was in the NHS pension scheme commencing around 1990 for 12 years.
    He retired early due to health reasons around 2 years ago.
    Will there be anything payable to me?

    Reply
    1. Owen Beswick

      Hi Joanna

      I am sorry for your loss. You are entitled to a pension and there may also be a lump sum payable.

      You will receive half of the pension that was being paid to your husband until your death. This pension increases by CPI every year. In addition, you will receive a “short-term” pension for 3 “initial” months, which will be paid at the same level as the pension your husband received before his death.

      You must apply for the pension to receive it. This NHS Pensions – Survivors Guide booklet explains pension benefits and how to claim them.

      Best wishes
      Owen

      Reply
  35. Jayne

    Hi
    I am single with no children, only siblings. Can I nominate one or both of them to receive survivor pension? (I am 56 and have 32 years service/contributions).
    Thanks.

    Reply
    1. Owen Beswick

      Hi Jayne

      Unfortunately you can’t nominate your siblings to receive your “dependent’s” pension. This is only available to a legal spouse, a registered civil partner, or a nominated partner with whom you have an exclusive long term committed relationship of at least two years and upon whom you are either financially dependent or inter-dependent.

      You can, however, nominate your Death-in-Service lump sum to your siblings if you wish, using the “DB2” form.

      Best wishes
      Owen

      Reply
  36. Katie

    Hi,
    My husband died in a car crash four years ago and my two daughters and I have been receiving his pension. I have recently got remarried and my new husband and I have discussed him adopting our girls. Would this mean they would loose their children’s pension?
    Many thanks

    Reply
    1. Owen Beswick

      Hi Katie

      Even though you have remarried, in the same way that your own dependant’s pension will continue so will that of your children if your new husband adopts them.

      Best wishes
      Owen

      Reply
  37. Debbie Bailey

    Hello, my husband passed away aged 52 in March 2018. He had worked for the ambulance service for 23 years. He was in receipt of a tier 2 pension as he had terminal cancer. I have just had notification that I receive an NHS widows’ pension. This is a lot lower than the amount he had been given. Why is this?
    Am I entitled to anything else from the ambulance service please, or was he classed as being retired and not ‘in service’.
    Thank you

    Reply
    1. Owen Beswick

      Hi Debbie

      I’m very sorry for your loss – the last thing you want to be thinking about is finances at a time like this.

      The pension that you are entitled to is half the pension that your husband received – those are the NHS pension scheme rules. If you have children, then there is a possibility that they could receive a quarter of your husband’s pension depending on age and circumstances (under the age of 23.)

      In terms of other benefits, I do not think there will be any other benefits payable.

      Best wishes
      Owen

      Reply
  38. Nina

    Hello. Wondering if I could get some advice. My 32 year old sister has been diagnosed with metastatic cancer but hopefully with treatment still has a good few years. She has worked 6 years in the nhs with a break 2 years ago when she worked abroad for a year. As she is unlikely to reach retirement age i am wondering if it is in her interest to stop paying the nhs pension and if she can apply for any lump sums. Or should she keep paying into it if payout sums are likely to be small so that her husband can benefit in the future.
    Many thanks.

    Reply
    1. Owen Beswick

      Hi Nina

      Remaining in the NHS Scheme will mean, for example, that your sister continues to retain all death-in-service benefits, the value of her actual pension fund is increasing faster than it would as a “deferred”/non contributing member etc etc. However, in situations like these, I hope you understand that we cannot be too generic because everyone’s situation is personal and individual. There are so many other factors to consider (you have alluded to the fact that your sister is married but does she have dependent children, a mortgage etc etc) and as such I would strongly advise a meeting with one of the Legal & Medical advisers.

      Best wishes
      Owen

      Reply
  39. M.P

    Hello, my husband died in January 2018, and had been in reciept of an N.H.S. pension, i have since contacted the N.H.S. pension bereavement office by post and regular telephone calls to determine what , if any, of his pension i will be entitled to, so far i have not received any reply from anyone, apart from a letter advising me that part of his pension paid in February would be taken back as over payment.
    I feel i am at a stalemate with the agency as no one is communicating with me. Any suggestions please

    Reply
    1. Owen Beswick

      Hi there

      I’m sorry to hear that you are being given the runaround at what will be a difficult time. If you need some further help, other than the advice below, please email me/call me and I will help if I can.

      In the meantime, dependent on how long your husband’s pension had been in payment, you are entitled to a short term pension (at the level your husband was receiving) for three months. After this period you are entitled to half of the pension your husband was in receipt of.

      I have no idea why the NHS are suggesting an overpayment had been made. It sounds like the payroll system has not caught up with the bereavement instruction that I assume you have made.

      I hope this helps.

      Best wishes
      Owen

      Reply
  40. Denise

    I have been in his pension for 20 yrs still working age 45. I am not married but l live with my parrner and our two young children 3 and 6 yrs old . Do l nominate my partnee to receive my pension or as my children are so young would they get the benefit until they are 23. Not sure what to do. Do l nomi ate my partner or just do nothing

    Reply
    1. Owen Beswick

      Hi Denise

      If you nominate your partner then he will receive half your pension in the event of your death. Your children will still remain entitled to a quarter of your pension each, in the event of your death. I would encourage you to make your nomination as soon as you are able.

      Best wishes
      Owen

      Reply
  41. Rita

    I retired from the NHS and received lump sum plus pension.
    I had nominated my late husband to receive my pension
    If I die can my pension be passed on to my children who are over 23?
    Thank you

    Reply
    1. Owen Beswick

      Hi there

      No – your pension cannot be passed on to your children. From the time they reach the age of 23, unless your children have a condition that means they are financially reliant upon you, any dependent pension will stop.

      Best wishes
      Owen

      Reply
  42. Nick Ward

    Hello I am a GP on the 95 scheme and have just resigned as a partner. I plan to locum for 10 months before taking my NHS pension at the end of 2019. Can you explain the implications of this if I were to die in service during this time. I don’t want my wife to be worse off! Does it make any difference if I were to freeze my pension contributions? Kind regards Nick

    Reply
    1. Owen Beswick

      Hi Nick

      If you were to freeze your pension contributions and become a deferred member, you would no longer be an active member of the NHS Pension Scheme and your family would lose your death in service benefit. Instead, they would get 3 times your accrued pension at the date of death.

      Becoming a locum will still allow you to contribute to the NHS Pension Scheme. This is usually the best option but the death in service issue as a locum is a controversial matter. You may want to read our recent article on this GP Locums: Will you get your death in service benefit? by Nigel Farrar.

      The ill-health retirement pension from the NHS can be harder to claim as well, but I suggest it would be worthwhile getting financial advice to cover any shortfall in these areas if needed.

      Best wishes
      Owen

      Reply
  43. Alice

    Hi, I’m separated with my husband for almost 10 years now but not divorce, but he lives other country, I live with my 2 children (26 and 20). And I want my children only to receive my nhs pension and lump sum if I die, what I have to do..thank you

    Reply
    1. Owen Beswick

      Hi Alice

      Your children are entitled to a quarter of the pension that you would have received at time of death, in the event that they are 23 or under. This dependent’s pension can be paid beyond 23 if, for some reason, the child/children are deemed to be “incapable of earning a living due to a permanent physical or mental condition which he/she was suffering from at the time of your death.”

      You can nominate your children to receive the death-in-service lump sum using form DB2. Further information can be found on the NHS Pensions Agency website.

      Best wishes
      Owen

      Reply
  44. Dean

    Hi – if you qualify for a serious ill lump sum as a member of the 2008 scheme (and also the 2015 scheme to a lesser extent) can your full pension pot repaid to you pound for pound (as a tax free amount) please? I have read that the serious ill lump sum is calculated at the rate of £12 for each £1 of pension entitlement on the first 25% of your pension (ie the amount you can take tax free) and the remainder is calculated at £5 for every £1 of pension entitlement. Can you please confirm the method of calculation as I am in the unfortunate position of trying to calculate the most financially beneficial options for my terminally ill wife’s NHS pension.
    Thanks in advance.

    Reply
    1. Owen Beswick

      Hi Dean

      Firstly, I am so sorry that you are having to post a comment under such circumstances. Secondly, you are very well informed and what you have said is absolutely correct:

      Under the rules of the scheme, your wife will have a maximum lump sum payable under Non-standard pension benefits. £1 of income under the “Standard pension benefits” can be given up (commuted) for £12 of tax-free lump sum. Once the maximum commutation is reached, this will leave a “reduced” income that is payable. At this point you can then elect to receive £5 of tax free cash for each pound of the “reduced” income, rather than receiving the ongoing income. It’s not as simple as looking at your wife’s latest Total Rewards Statement, for instance, to calculate her prospective pension because her future pension will probably be based on a tier 2 Ill health retirement pension. This inflates the pension but unfortunately is not shown on a TRS. I would advise you to call the NHS on 0300 330 1346 and they should be able to give you an approximate figure.

      In the event of your wife’s death, you (and eligible children) will be entitled to spouse and dependents pension benefits.

      Best wishes
      Owen

      Reply
  45. Dean

    Thank you for your reply Owen. If the maximum seriously ill lump sum is taken is it correct that surviving spouse/dependent children pension are still payable? I assumed that once the “pot” was paid out there would be no further amounts payable.

    Reply
    1. Owen Beswick

      Hi Dean

      No problem – happy to help. The terminal sum represents the commutation of the member’s own benefits, not those of dependents/spouse. They are payable in the event of death of the member.

      Best wishes
      Owen

      Reply
  46. Mary Oloughlin

    Hi Owen
    My husband died in 1981 whilst in nhs service for over 10yrs. I initially received a widows pension but this stopped when I remarried.

    Having also been subject to my own pension changes following state pension changes I was struggling financially. I asked a local MP to help get my husband’s his pension reinstated. They eventually gave me a small sum monthly saying this was all I could have and that I should appreciate the gesture they had made. They didn’t explain how they came to that sum of money.
    As my husband would have been over 65 by now can I claim any of his pension. The rules have changed so many times over the years.
    My second marriage ended years ago.
    I feel that it’s just not right that they can hold on to what my husband believed would be paid to me. Can you advise me

    Many thanks
    Mary

    Reply
    1. Owen Beswick

      Hi Mary

      It does seem so unfair because now the pension is payable for the life of the remaining spouse/partner if the scheme member was still a member beyond April 1 2008. The scheme trustees will consider extending payments if financial hardship can be proved (I guess that they agreed to the discretionary payment that you already receive under these terms.) Maybe you should consider going back to them requesting the full amount be reinstated if finances are more difficult?

      Best wishes
      Owen

      Reply
  47. k v hughes

    My partner and I have been co-habitating for 16 years but he is still legally married. He retired from the nhs in 2006 after 10 years service. Would he be allowed to nominate me for his pension and any death benefit lump sum or would it still go to his legal wife on his death.

    Reply
    1. Owen Beswick

      Hi Kaylee

      My feeling is that if your partner is legally married then I think pension benefits would go to his wife. Assuming that he has been in receipt of his pension for 10 years, there is no lump sum entitlement.

      Best wishes
      Owen

      Reply
    1. Owen Beswick

      Hi Carol

      The blunt answer is “no”. Children are only entitled to a quarter of your pension until they reach the age of 23. If they can prove financial dependency on you, because of a lifelong medical condition, then they may be entitled to receive that pension beyond the age of 23.

      The NHS Pensions – Survivors Guide provides a very good summary from the NHS library.

      Best wishes
      Owen

      Reply
  48. Ann

    I am not married or have a partner, I have 3 children so when I pass away what happens to my pension, can my children have it, if so what do I do.

    Reply
    1. Owen Beswick

      Hi Ann

      In the event of your death, your children are entitled to a quarter of your pension up to a maximum of half being paid (ie 2 children) up until they reach the age of 23. If financial dependency can be proved, because of a medical condition, then the pension may be payable for their lifetime.

      If you were to die “in-service”, then a lump sum is payable and this could be nominated in favour of your children. To do this, you should complete the appropriate form now. The NHS Pensions – Survivors Guide in the NHS ‘document library’ provides a very good summary.

      Best wishes
      Owen

      Reply
  49. Karen

    I’ve worked for the NHS for nearly forty years I took my pension lump sum two years ago and receive an annual pension .Should anything happen to me I know my husband will receive a small pension each year.Would that still be payable to my children (27 & 23 years old )if he dies.

    Reply
    1. Owen Beswick

      Hi Karen,

      Half of your pension would be payable to your spouse. None of your pension is payable to your children, either in the event of yours or your husband’s death (should you pre-decease him). Unless your children are shown to be financially dependent on you/him for medically orientated reasons that means they are unable to provide for themselves.

      I hope this helps,

      Best wishes
      Owen

      Reply
  50. Thomas

    Hello
    I want to put my 10 years old son name on DB2 form . Will he receive 100 % lump sum if I suddenly die ? and then will he be receiving my pension till age of 23 ?
    What if I wait and register him when he is over 24 ? Will he then receive pension to the rest of his life ?

    Thank you

    Reply
    1. Owen Beswick

      Hi there,

      The lump sum can be nominated to whomever you choose.

      The dependents pension will be payable up until the age of 23 only, unless your son, for medical reasons, is financially dependent upon you/incapable of providing for himself. In these circumstances, a pension could be payable for his lifetime.

      It would be most benefical if you read: NHS summary of Benefits

      I hope this helps!

      Reply

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