For family members

What this page covers:

Who can get benefits

What a spouse or civil partner might get

You’re eligible for a pension if you married or formed a civil partnership with a member either:

  • before they retired, or
  • after they retired but at least 6 months before they died

If you married your partner or formed a civil partnership after they retired but less than 6 months before they died, the trustee will have to decide whether to pay you a pension. This happens on a case-by-case basis.

Most spouses and civil partners get half of their partner’s pension. But if you’re more than 10 years younger than them, you’ll get less as we’ll probably have to pay it for longer.

Regardless of when you got married or formed a civil partnership with the member or the age difference between you, if the member was contracted out of the Additional State Pension before 5 April 1997, the minimum you will receive is your Guaranteed Minimum Pension (GMP) from the Fund. This is usually based on the Additional State Pension you would have got if the member had not been contracted out.

What anybody else might get

The trustee might pay a lump sum to a member’s estate or beneficiaries.

This happens if the member died either:

  • before taking their pension from the Fund and did not leave a spouse or civil partner, or
  • within 5 years of starting to take their pension from the Fund

The trustees have to decide who should get the lump sum. To do this, we’ll check a member’s ‘expression of wish’ form, which tells us who they want to receive any benefits that might be due when they die. Members can get started updating their expression of wish by signing in to their account.

How to report a death

We need to know when anyone receiving a pension from the Fund dies. The person receiving a pension from the Fund could be a member, their spouse or their civil partner.

Telling us helps to avoid us overpaying their pension. If money is overpaid, we’ll need this to be paid back to us.

If they were getting their pension, please phone our payroll team on 01372 200 222.

If they were not getting their pension or you’re not sure, please phone our administration team on 01372 200 385.

How a spouse or civil partner’s pension is paid

When your pension is paid

Your pension will be paid each month on the 15th day (or, if this falls on a weekend or bank holiday, the previous working day).

We’ll pay your pension into your bank account. Your bank account needs to be in your name, although it can be a joint account.

You won’t get a payslip for your pension unless the amount we pay you changes by more than £5 from the previous month.

How your pension increases

Pension increases depend on when the member built up benefits.

Your pension:

  • will not increase if the member only built up benefits before 1 April 1997
  • will increase if they also built up benefits after 1 April 1997 – this part increases every April, in line with inflation up to 5% a year

If the member was contracted out of the Additional State Pension before 5 April 1997, you might get an extra amount to make sure your pension meets the Guaranteed Minimum Pension (GMP) we need to provide. Some of this will increase each year with inflation.

You can read more about how your spouse or civil partner’s benefits built up in the Fund.

How your pension is taxed

You pay tax if your total annual income adds up to more than your Personal Allowance. This includes pension income. What you’ll pay depends on the total income you get from all sources each year, like income from other pensions and other jobs.

If you have questions about how much tax you pay, or you think your tax code is wrong, phone HM Revenue and Customs on 0300 200 3300. They might ask for the Pay As You Earn (PAYE) reference for the Fund, which is 120\HB01721.