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Thread: Issue with deceased parents pension

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  1. #1
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    Default Issue with deceased parents pension

    Hi,

    Hoping someone can help, long story short my father died on the 24th of september this year, I informed his personal pension company and filled out all the relevant forms on behalf of my mother. My mother received a letter on the 6th november (dated 4th november) stating that she could opt for a monthly widows pension or a lump sum. Unfortunately she had died on the 3rd november!

    Now the pension company is saying that they will not pay out to her estate, is this position correct? Is this the law in this situation? Is it worth me pursuing (I am executer)? If it is worth pursuing, how do I go about it?

    It is not a huge amount of money, but I feel that it was hers by right (she did survive him if only by 5 weeks) and should go into her estate.

    Thanks for reading, and I hope it makes sense!

    Keith

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Issue with deceased parents pension

    @des8?? can you advise??
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  3. #3
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    Default Re: Issue with deceased parents pension

    Hi and welcome
    Sorry to hear of your double loss , so close together

    As executor you have a duty to pursue and collect all outstanding amounts due to the estate.
    If you fail to do so any of the residuary beneficiaries could claim their missing portion from you.
    Obviously unlikely for such a small amount!!

    Have the Pension fund said why they will not pay out.
    On the face of it they should pay up, but there just might be a get out clause.
    When did they cease paying out your father's pension? Could it have been paid in advance, so they would have been entitled to claim a portion back as overpaid? Was an instalment paid after his death due to the delay in notifying them?
    Not saying there is nothing due, just exploring the avenues.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Issue with deceased parents pension

    Hi, thanks for your replies.
    They informed me when I phoned them that they would not pay, I then instructed my solicitor (who is dealing with probate but not a pensions expert) to send them a letter requesting payment, they replied that they are not able to pay a Trivial Commutation to me, but they will make an arrears payment for the sum of the annual pension which would have been paid between my fathers death and my mothers death (which would be very little)

    They have not said why they won't pay the trivial commutation.

    Should I accept the offer of an arrears payment or will that compromise any further action?

    There was an overpayment on my fathers pension (£160) which has been repaid.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Issue with deceased parents pension

    Write to the Pension Fund asking what the commuted amount would be, and a copy of the rules of the scheme.
    Remind them that as the executor of your mother's estate it is your legal duty to preserve the assets and you have to investigate the possibility they are with holding funds due to the estate.
    Explain that you need to know the reason for their inability to pay a commuted lump sum, to satisfy the beneficiaries.

    Don't do it via the solicitor, 'cause his bill will grow and grow with each letter and 'phone call and then there will be nothing left!

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Issue with deceased parents pension

    Thanks Des8, I will do exactly that and report back with their reply.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Issue with deceased parents pension

    OK letter sent as per advice given.

    Received a reply today. Quote "The payment of a trivial commutation lump sum death benifit is an option and not an entitlement under legislation. Therefore, if the recipient has not selected that option prior to death, then the scheme is not obliged to pay the lump sum"

    They have offered a few hundred pounds based on the annual pension the would have been due.

    Looks like a lost cause to me, but what do you think? I am prepared to keep digging at them if there is a chance.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Issue with deceased parents pension

    TBH, without studying the actual scheme, I suspect they are correct.
    That is why I suggested requesting a copy of the rules (which probably they have not sent as you haven't referred to them)
    The pension fund will pay a pension unless the beneficiary opts for commutation.
    If the beneficiary did not so opt, the fund will only pay the pension.

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