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For members of the Local Government Pension Scheme in England and Wales

Frequently asked questions

After you die

  • What is paid when I die?

    The LGPS provides valuable life cover and financial protection for your family. Your dependents will be paid a pension. A lump sum death grant may also be payable. Watch the protection for your family video for a general overview.

  • When is a lump sum death grant paid?

    A lump sum death grant is paid if, when you die, you are under age 75 and one of the following applies:

    • you are still paying in the LGPS
    • you have left the LGPS but have not taken payment of your pension
    • you left after 31 March 2008 and have been receiving your pension for less than 10 years
    • you left the LGPS between 1 April 1998 and 31 March 2008 and have been receiving your pension for less than 5 years.

    If you left before 1 April 1998 and are receiving your pension, a death grant may be paid when you die. The calculation is complex and you can ask your local pension fund for an estimate of the amount that may be payable.

  • Who is a death grant paid to?

    Your local pension fund has absolute discretion over who receives any lump sum death grant. This means it can be paid to:

    • the person(s) you name on your expression of wish form
    • your personal representative(s) – this is someone who is responsible for your looking after your estate when you die
    • anyone who appears to have been, at any time, a relative or dependent.

    You can let your pension fund know who you would like any death grant paid to by completing an expression of wish form. Your pension fund will take your wishes into account when deciding who the death grant is paid to. Contact your pension fund to ask for a form.

    If a death grant is not paid within two years it must be paid to your personal representative(s) and a tax charge may apply.

    If you paid AVCs and were a member of the LGPS on or after 1 April 2014, your local pension fund will use its discretion to decide who receives any lump sum due from your AVC pot when you die. If you left the LGPS before 1 April 2014, your local pension fund must pay any lump sum due to your estate.

  • What death grant is paid if I die when I am still paying into the LGPS?

    If you die in when you are still paying into the LGPS, a lump sum death grant of three times your assumed pensionable pay is paid. It does not matter how long you have been a member of the LGPS, provided you are under age 75 at the date of death.

    If you also have a deferred benefit and/or a pension in payment from a previous period of membership of the LGPS, the lump sum death grant paid is the greater of:

    • the total of any lump sum death grants payable from the deferred and/or pensions in payment
    • three times your assumed pensionable pay at the date you die

    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 pay Additional Voluntary Contributions (AVCs) arranged through the LGPS, the value of your AVC fund is also payable.

  • What death grant is paid if I have left the LGPS but not taken my pension?

    If you die after leaving the LGPS and before you take your pension, you hold a deferred benefit in the LGPS. The lump sum death grant payable depends on when you left:

    • if you left after 31 March 2008 – five time your deferred annual pension is paid
    • if you left before 1 April 2008 – three times your deferred annual pension is paid

    However, if you left with deferred benefits and die before receiving them and you are also an active member of the LGPS when you die, the death grant payable is the higher of:

    • your deferred death grant as calculated above, or
    • three times your assumed pensionable pay in your active employment

    If you hold more than one deferred benefit in the LGPS a death grant will be paid from each deferred benefit, provided you are not also an active member of the LGPS.

    If you paid Additional Voluntary Contributions (AVCs) arranged through the LGPS, the value of your AVC fund is also payable.

  • What death grant is paid if I am receiving my pension from the LGPS?

    If you left after 31 March 2008 and you die within 10 years of receiving your pension, provided you are under age 75, the death grant payable is 10 times the amount of your pension before you gave up any pension for lump sum (if applicable), less the pension and lump sum that has been paid to you. There is a slight difference to the calculation for any part of your pension that relates to membership before 1 April 2014.

    If you are also an active member when you die, the death grant payable is the higher of the amount calculated as above, or three times your assumed pensionable pay in your active employment.

    If you left before 1 April 2008 and you die within five years of receiving your pension, provided you are under age 75, the death grant payable is five times the amount of your pension after giving up any pension for lump sum (if applicable), less the pension and lump sum that has been paid to you.

    If you left before 1 April 1998 – the calculation is more complex. You can ask your local pension fund for an estimate of the amount that may be payable.

  • Will a pension be paid to my partner when I die?

    Your spouse, civil partner or eligible cohabiting partner will receive part of your pension. It will be paid for the rest of their life. Generally, this is:

    • 30.625% of the pension you built up from April 2014
    • 37.50% of the pension you built up between April 2008 and March 2014
    • 50% of the pension you built up before April 2008.

    If you die in service as a member of the L G P S, the pension will include a part of the increase you would have received if you had retired on ill-health.

    If you leave before retirement with deferred benefits and die before taking them, the pension is the relevant percentage of your deferred pension.

    If you die after receiving your pension, the pension is the relevant percentage of your pension before giving up pension for tax-free lump sum and before any reductions or increases for early or late payment.

    Some parts of your pension are not counted. This includes extra pension you paid for by making additional pension contributions.

    Pensions for eligible cohabiting partners are only based on your membership after 5 April 1988, unless you elected before 1 April 2014 to pay extra contributions for membership before 6 April 1988 to count.

    Also, the amount may be less where you entered into the civil partnership or marriage after leaving the LGPS.

    Due to recent court cases, the Government is reviewing pensions for male survivors of opposite-sex marriages.

  • Will a pension be paid to my children when I die?

    Your eligible children will receive part of your pension when you die. The amount paid will depend on how many eligible children you have and whether a pension is also being paid to your partner.


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