Death in Service – Annual Pension

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Married Spouse – as long as you have at least three months membership (or you have transferred benefits in from another pension scheme) your spouse will receive a pension based on 1 / 160th of the pensionable membership you would have received had you retired under a Tier 1 ill health pension.


Mr Barnes dies in service aged 55 with 30 years membership on final year’s pensionable pay of £20,000.  His benefits would be increased by 10 years to age 65 as a Tier 1 ill health retirement making a total of 40 years.  His spouse’s pension would be:

£20,000 x 40 years / 160 = £5,000 per annum payable for life.

Civil Partnerships – the Civil Partnership Act 2004 allows same sex partners to register a civil partnership.  If a Scheme member who has a civil partner dies, their partner will be entitled to a dependants pension calculated the same way as a married spouse pension on all scheme membership.


Miss Parry dies in service aged 58 with 30 years membership (10 years pre 6 April 1988) on a final year’s pensionable pay of £20,000.  Her benefits would be increased by 7 years to age 65 as a Tier 1 ill health retirement making a total of 37 years.  Her partner’s pension would be:

£20,000 x 37 years / 160 = £4,625 per annum payable for life.

Nominated Cohabiting Partners – in addition to existing provisions for husbands, wives and civil partners, the Scheme includes a cohabiting partner’s pension for dependant partners in both opposite and same sex relationships.  The definition of a qualifying partner is:

  • You must have lived with your partner in a permanent exclusive relationship for a minimum of two years.
  • You must be legally free to marry or to enter into a civil partnership.
  • You and your partner are living together as if you were husband and wife or as if you were civil partners.
  • You and your partner must be financially interdependent.

Any nomination for a partner’s pension will be void if the conditions above have not been continuously met for at least two years on the day the partnership declaration has been signed.

Some examples of financial interdependency accepted by HMRC (these are not exhaustive and not all need to be met) are:

  • You share a household and its related costs.
  • You have a joint bank account or mortgage.
  • You have named each other as beneficiaries in your wills.

NB – Cohabiting partner’s pensions are only based on your Scheme membership from 6 April 1988.

Please Note – To nominate a cohabiting partner, you will be required to complete a separate form Cohabiting Partner Nomination Form in addition to the Death Grant Nomination Form which you may have already completed in respect of the Death Grant.  Guidance notes for completion of the cohabiting partner nomination form can be found on page 2 of the form.