A Death Grant is a tax-free lump sum payable to your loved ones in the event of your death. The amount of lump sum payable depends on your membership status within the Royal County of Berkshire Pension Fund.
If you are an Active Member
The value of the death grant is three times your Assumed Pensionable Pay (APP) at your date of death (if you are part-time we use the part-time equivalent APP).
What is my Assumed Pensionable Pay?
Assumed Pensionable Pay is used in the calculation of the death grant and survivors benefits payable in the event of your death in service. For the purposes of these calculations the Assumed Pensionable Pay is:
The total of last 3 months normal pensionable pay (prior to date of death) ÷ 3 X 12
You can choose who you would like to receive any death grant payable by completing an 'Expression of Wish form'.
Please note the administering authority has the discretion to pay the death grant to your nominee or personal representatives or to any person who appears, at any time, to have been your relative or dependant. If any part of the death grant has not been paid by the second anniversary of your death, it must be paid to your personal representatives, i.e. to your Estate. This may result in an inheritance tax charge being placed on the death grant.
If you are a Former Member
If you left the LGPS before 1 April 2008
If you hold deferred pension rights in the LGPS until retirement, but you die before those benefits are payable, a death grant equal to the value of your lump sum , plus inflationary increases accrued since leaving the Scheme, will be paid as a death grant to your nominee or personal representatives.
In addition if you die and leave a husband or wife or civil partner, he or she, will become entitled to part of your pension.
If you left the LGPS after 1 April 2008
If you hold deferred pension rights in the LGPS until retirement, but you die before those benefits are payable, a death grant equal to five times the value of your deferred pension , plus inflationary increases accrued since leaving the Scheme, will be paid as a death grant to your nominee or personal representatives.
Please note: that if you are a deferred member and you have a cohabiting partner, you must have been contributing to the scheme at some point since 1 April 2008 for a cohabiting partner's pension to be payable. In addition you and your cohabiting partner must satisfy certain conditions which are set out in the Co-habiting Partners section of this website.
If you are a Retired Member
The calculation for the Death Grant in respect of a retired member depends on when the member retired from the LGPS:
If your pension membership relates to pre 1 April 2014 only
Death Grant = 10 X your post-commutation pension minus the post commutation pension paid between retirement and date of death. The resulting balance is the tax-free lump sum payable.
If your pension membership relates to post 1 April 2014 only
Death Grant = 10 X your pre-commutation pension minus the amount of pension paid between retirement and date of death and minus the commuted lump sum.
If your pension membership relates to both pre and post 1 April 2014
The death grant will be calculated based on the two calculations above, determined by your length of membership in either section of the Scheme, split between pre and post 1 April 2014.
You can choose whom you would like to receive any death grant payable by completing an 'Expression of Wish Form'. Please note, however, that the administering authority retains absolute discretion when making payment of any death grant.
If you retired before 1 April 2008
If you retired before 1 April 2008 there will no longer be a death grant payable. The regulations in force at the time allowed for a death grant to be paid if a retired member died within 5 years of retiring from the LGPS.
If you have any queries regarding payment of a death grant please contact us directly on 01628 796 668 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Expression of Wish
As a member of the Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) you have the peace of mind that should anything happen to you, comprehensive benefits are paid out of the Scheme to your beneficiaries.
From the first day of scheme membership, if you were to die in service, a lump sum death grant equal to three times your assumed pensionable pay is payable to your nominees or personal representatives. Under scheme regulations you are able to state who you would like to receive this benefit in the event of your death.
The Administering Authority to the Pension Fund does have absolute discretion as to whom a death grant should be paid but every effort will be made to ensure that your wishes are upheld.
Why should I complete an expression of wish form?
While there is no requirement for you to complete an expression of wish form, there are two main reasons why doing so would be advantageous.
- If you do not complete an expression of wish form, any death grant that may become payable will be paid to your legal beneficiary. Whilst this may be the same person or persons that you wish to receive your death grant, payments made in this way may be subject to Inheritance Tax where the total value of your estate exceeds the appropriate level. Simply by completing an expression of wish form and declaring your chosen beneficiaries, the death grant can be paid immediately to your beneficiaries and will potentially fall outside of Inheritance Tax.
- In the event of your death without an expression of wish form having been completed, we will require from your next of kin, or other representative, sight of Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration before releasing payment of the death grant to your estate. This can be a lengthy process and involves the services of a solicitor. By completing an expression of wish form the payment of the death grant can be made without the need to see these legal documents.
Who can I choose to receive my death grant?
You can choose one person, a number of people or even an organisation such as a charity. You can choose your husband, wife or partner, your children, any other family member or a friend, the list is endless. However, remember that the administering authority has absolute discretion when making payment of the death grant and will want to honour your wishes so always consider those who will and those who will not benefit.
Can I choose who can receive my pension benefits?
As a member of the LGPS, your dependants automatically qualify for part of your pension in the event of your death. If you are married, your husband or wife qualifies for a spouse's pension. If you have registered a civil partnership, your civil partner will qualify for a civil partner's pension. If you leave dependant children, they will also qualify for a pension for so long as they are eligible. Details of all of these benefits are provided in our booklet 'Protection For Your Family'.
Can I change my expression of wish at any time?
Yes you can. You can even cancel your expression of wish. You need to consider amending your form if:
Your circumstances change;
You become divorced or dissolve a civil partnership;
The person you have chosen dies;
It becomes impractical to make payment to your chosen beneficiary (such as a charity that no longer exists).
If you are unsure whether or not you have already completed an expression of wish form you can contact the Pension Team who will be able to advise you accordingly. If, however, you re-submit a second expression of wish form with exactly the same details as the first form it does not matter, we will just maintain your records in line with your duplicated wishes.
What do I do next?
If you haven't already completed a form please download our factsheet 'Expression of Wish for Payment of Death Grant'. If you would prefer to have a copy of this factsheet forwarded to your home address please contact us on 01628 796 668.
Once we have received your completed form we will acknowledge receipt within 10 working days.
Please make sure that you have completed your details accurately and the details of your chosen beneficiaries. It is also important that where you have named more than one beneficiary the shares add up to 100% in total, otherwise the form will be returned to you.
Please make sure you have signed and dated the form.
Update your Expression of Wish online
If you have already registered for 'my pension ONLINE' you can log on to your online account.