What if I die with less than two years and I have not purchased earlier qualification for benefits?
If you die with less than 2 years’ service your widow(er) will receive a short term pension equal to your final earnings at the date of death for a period of at least three months and this period may be increased if you have children who are under the age of 17, or who are undertaking appropriate full-time education or training.
No annual spouse or children’s pensions will be payable in these circumstances, and pension payments will cease at the end of the short term pension payment period.
If as a contributing member of the scheme you should happen to die in service then, regardless of the length of your service, your nominee(s) or, if you have not made a nomination, your legal representatives may receive a tax free lump sum of twice final earnings.
If you have completed a Nomination for Death Benefit form, and the nomination is valid, the benefit will normally be paid to that person. You should make sure that your nomination is up to date and reflects your wishes for the distribution of the lump sum payment.
If you have not already done so you are strongly advised to complete a Nomination for Death Benefit Form. Click here to access a form and details about nominations.
According to your length of scheme service, in addition to the lump sum payment, your spouse and children may be eligible to receive pension payments.
If you should happen to die with 2 or more years service, or less than 2 years of service but you have purchased earlier qualification for benefits in the event of ill-health retirement or death, a pension is provided for your widow(er) for life or until remarriage or cohabitation.
A pension equal to your final earnings at the time of your death will be paid for at least the first three months.
The short term pension is followed by an annual pension normally equal to at least half the pension you would have received if you had retired on ill-health grounds on the date of your death.
For historical reasons the pension paid to your spouse may be less than half of your pension. For example female members who began scheme service before April 1988 and have not elected to include the pre 1988 service for the spouse pension will have provided for less than half of their pension.
Children’s pensions are payable to children under 17 years of age. A child’s pension may continue after age 17 up to the age of 23 provided the child is in full time education.
Normally the pension would be payable to the children of the deceased member. However, there is provision in the pension scheme rules for children’s pensions to be paid to certain children that are related to and who were financially dependent upon the member prior to his death.
In practice the pension payments in respect of young children are paid to the member’s widow/widower or the child’s guardian. In respect of older children, who have their own bank accounts, the pension payments are made directly to the child.
If the spouse has care of the eligible children, their pensions will be payable from the date on which the widow(er)’s annual pension starts and will be equal to a quarter of the ill health pension to which you would have been entitled for each of the eldest two children at any one time, making a total of a half of your ill health pension payable in respect of any two children. If you have eligible children who are not in the care of your spouse, pensions may be payable for them but different limits may then apply.
Each child's pension is treated separately and when each child that receives a United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority pension completes their full time education or ceases to be eligible the Pensions Administration Office at Thurso should be told immediately to avoid the need to recover overpayments.
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