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In the event of the death of a scheme member – whether before or after retirement – provided they had at least 3 months’ qualifying service, a pension will be paid to an eligible child. The scheme member’s active, deferred or retirement account would be closed and a pension account would be established for the child.

In relation to the scheme member, a ‘child’ is defined as:

  • a natural child, stepchild or adopted child of the member
  • the natural child, step-child or adopted child of the member’s spouse, civil partner or cohabiting partner
  • any natural child of the member who was born after the member’s death and with whom the child’s mother was pregnant at the date of the death

An ‘eligible child’ is defined as:

  • financially dependent on the deceased member at the date of the member’s death (or would have been if born before the death, Ref: final point above)
  • not married or in a civil partnership
  • they are under age 18
  • they are in full-time education or on a course of at least one year’s duration and have not reached the age of 23
  • they were dependent on the member, because of permanent incapacity of mind or body, at the date of the member’s death

Following the death of:

An active member: an eligible child or eligible children would be entitled to a quarter of the pension, which the member would be entitled to draw if they had retired on the grounds of ill-health with a higher tier ill-health pension.

A deferred member: an eligible child or children would be entitled to a quarter of the amount of pension in the member’s deferred account plus half of any added pension in the member’s added pension account.

A pensioner member: an eligible child or children would be entitled to a quarter of the rate of pension payable to the member immediately before the death (this would be the pension after any commutation or allocation but before any reduction made for early retirement). 

Please note, if there is more than one eligible child, it is one half of the pension mentioned above, divided between the children equally.

If one of the children ceases to be an ‘eligible child’, the half pension would be reapportioned between the others.

The effect of divorce on children’s pensions

If the member’s benefits had been reduced because of a pension sharing order at the date of death, the specified portion would be based on the member’s pension as if the reduction had not been made.

No eligible partner

Sometimes there may be an eligible child or eligible children, but no person entitled to a surviving partner’s pension. In these circumstances the pension that would have been paid to the surviving partner will be paid to an eligible child, or apportioned between eligible children and paid in addition to their eligible child’s pension.

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