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  • FIRST POST
    • masonj3
    • By masonj3 6th May 17, 7:30 AM
    • 165Posts
    • 28Thanks
    masonj3
    Death befor taking pension & ex wife dependant
    • #1
    • 6th May 17, 7:30 AM
    Death befor taking pension & ex wife dependant 6th May 17 at 7:30 AM
    Hi

    My dad died unexpectedly and suddenly a few months ago before taking his private pension . He was age 70 when he died.

    My dad had completed a beneficiary nomination for with my moms details on it. The pension provider say that my dad's ex wife is also a dependant as she was receiving £4 a week spousal maintenance. They have asked for her contact details and copy of the court order from their divorce.

    I don't think there is anything we can do even though her benefitting would be totally against my dad's wishes - does anyone have any idea how much percentage wise she may be given from my dad's pension . Thank you xx

    BACKGROUND
    Married in 1969 for 2 years, ex wife left and filed for divorce she was awarded £4 per week spousal maintenance.
    My dad remarried years later and then set up pension plans etc.
    His will does not name his ex wife they have had no contact since their divorce.
Page 3
  • jamesd
    She is a potential financial dependent just because she was receiving money. But since state pension deferral could get her more than she was getting at a cost of only a couple of thousand Pounds there's no real reason for them to consider more than that. And less or nil seems likely once they have considered her current financial position.

    Zurich have to seek information from her, in part because if she was to disagree with what they decided she could take them to court to try to get more. That's also why they are keeping back a bit, so they haven't fully made payment until they have the information to make a decision that they are comfortable with. Trustees having to make these decisions is something that comes as part of the way the tax benefits of pensions are delivered. Even if they make a payment it'll still be a big gain from the tax benefits overall.

    Them apparently cutting the amount withheld from £48k to £20k is a sign that things are moving in the right direction.
    • masonj3
    • By masonj3 18th Jun 17, 8:40 PM
    • 165 Posts
    • 28 Thanks
    masonj3
    She is a potential financial dependent just because she was receiving money. But since state pension deferral could get her more than she was getting at a cost of only a couple of thousand Pounds there's no real reason for them to consider more than that. And less or nil seems likely once they have considered her current financial position.

    Zurich have to seek information from her, in part because if she was to disagree with what they decided she could take them to court to try to get more. That's also why they are keeping back a bit, so they haven't fully made payment until they have the information to make a decision that they are comfortable with. Trustees having to make these decisions is something that comes as part of the way the tax benefits of pensions are delivered. Even if they make a payment it'll still be a big gain from the tax benefits overall.

    Them apparently cutting the amount withheld from £48k to £20k is a sign that things are moving in the right direction.
    Originally posted by jamesd

    Thank you for the last reply for some reason I have only just seen this I must have deleted a notification - I have still not heard back from them, They have still withheld just under £50k the £20k was a typo was a typo. Its almost 4 weeks since our letter was passed to complaints team x
    • masonj3
    • By masonj3 21st Jun 17, 3:02 PM
    • 165 Posts
    • 28 Thanks
    masonj3
    Hi we have received an update from the pension provider can anyone advise what They mean by checking my dad adhered to the court order - had he not ge would of been imprisionef for non payment ?? The courses could verify this or our bank statements could have been given - thank you xx

    Dear Mrs Xxx

    I have been asked to provide you with an update on the progress of your
    complaint.

    I am the complaint handler investigating the concerns you've raised, and I
    am currently looking into when we will be in a position to release the
    balance due from Mr Xxx's pension.

    We just need to clarify with the other Mrs xx that the Court Order in
    place has been adhered too, and we expect to be in a position to finalise
    matters within the next 14 days.
    I would like to thank you for allowing us the time to investigate this
    matter for you. For information, we have up to 8 weeks to issue our final
    outcome letter, and rest assured we always try whenever possible to exceed
    this.

    In the meantime, I am exploring the possibility of releasing more of the
    fund to you, prior to the completion of my investigation.

    kind regards
  • jamesd
    With payments that low the failure to make them might have been ignored by her so it's not unreasonable for them to check. Unpaid money would be a debt of his estate to her, not really their responsibility, but understandable.

    It appears that they have already eliminated the possibility of any very big payment to her and are gradually edging down the amount they think they need to keep back just in case.
    • masonj3
    • By masonj3 21st Jun 17, 8:23 PM
    • 165 Posts
    • 28 Thanks
    masonj3
    Thank you for your reply xx I think that they should seek clarification from the court rather than his ex wife and in all honesty I don't feel she should receive anything. It's crazy how just 2 years of marriage gives her so many rights - I really disagree with the pension providers actions in all of this. Thank you again for taking the time to reply x
  • jamesd
    Nothing for her is quite likely to be the final value.

    Asking her is probably a good move because she might well tell them that she expected the money to stop. Can ask the court of for bank statements if she lies about getting the money so no need to worry about that bit.

    It's frustrating but they do seem to be trying to do their job quite well.
    • stclair
    • By stclair 2nd Jul 17, 1:25 PM
    • 6,325 Posts
    • 3,372 Thanks
    stclair
    There is no reason why you cannot write to the company now acknowledging receipt of their letters and asking for a timetable for expected completion of their investigations.
    Originally posted by OldBeanz
    It might not be that simple.

    I had a 2 and half year challenge when my father died.

    When they investigate they want to know people's financial positions, how much they earn if any children are involved etc.
    I Work For the RBS Group
    However Any Opinion Given On MSE Is Strictly My Own
    • masonj3
    • By masonj3 14th Jul 17, 11:55 AM
    • 165 Posts
    • 28 Thanks
    masonj3
    **Update **

    Shortly after receiving the earlier mentioned letter we received another letter releasing 40K - they explained that they had nearly finished their investigations and were hoping to then release the full balance to us.

    I waited until the 14 day timescale was up and contacted them again. They said that they were issuing a cheque for the full amount excluding £200.

    I queried that as was told that the ex wife claimed there were maintenance arrears of £200 from when my dad was alive.

    I disputed this and asked what evidence she had provided, it actually boiled down to being simply her word - I was furious. I checked the the courts who advised that she had only contacted th in recent weeks to query IF there had. Even any arrears so due to back logs they hadn't yet responded. The court said the account was clear at time of death but even if it wasn't then any arrears would of ended when my dad died. They also said this was nothing to do with a 3rd party and any disputes should be referred to the courts or to the executor of my dads estate..

    I complained and explained all of this and within 24 hours they issued the cheque for the remaining balance to us.

    Thank you to everyone for affected advice and support etc it was a really stressful time and I am shocked that a big company was prepared to pay out to someone just on their word without any proof. Thank goodness this situation is over - thank you all again xx
    • Silvertabby
    • By Silvertabby 14th Jul 17, 12:37 PM
    • 1,256 Posts
    • 1,456 Thanks
    Silvertabby
    I'm glad everything has finally worked out for you but, to be fair, pension fund trustees are sometimes caught between a rock and a hard place.
  • jamesd
    Thanks for the update. Glad it was eventually resolved with the correct answer even if it took a bit more work at the end to get the last bit!
    • Malthusian
    • By Malthusian 14th Jul 17, 3:41 PM
    • 2,387 Posts
    • 3,308 Thanks
    Malthusian
    I wonder if they clawed back the £200 from her or whether they just paid you both £200 ex gratia (well, one of you is due it, the other is ex gratia) for the sake of a quiet life. They surely wouldn't have got her to pay it back so quickly, so either they cancelled the cheque before she cashed it, or they paid £200 a second time from their own resources.

    Either way, the important thing is that you now have the money and it's no skin off your nose.

    It does helpfully illustrate that paying out death benefits from a pension scheme is not subject to the same stringent laws as administrating an estate as an executor. I can see why you are livid that they simply took her word for it that she was owed maintenance, but from their perspective, they have discretion over who they pay and how much, and aren't obliged to check it with the courts. And they apparently decided that for £200 it wasn't worth checking and they'd simply pay it out and see if you objected.
    • masonj3
    • By masonj3 14th Jul 17, 9:45 PM
    • 165 Posts
    • 28 Thanks
    masonj3
    They hadn't actually issued her cheque when We found out their decision- to pay out £200 the ex wife had been given 14 days to respond and contacted them literally at the deadline saying there were arrears and she just quoted the court reference number. We contacted the pension provider on day 14 and they told us that that was their plan.
    When We asked what proof of the arrears they been sent they said a reference number presumably from the court. Obviously that annoyed us so We contacted the courts and then relayed the info back to the pension company - We gave them 24 hours to make a decision b4 seeking legal advice. They replied asking for a few more days to investigate further but We said That we had waited long enough - I chased them after the 24 hours and they said that they had posted us a cheque for the £200.

    I do also think that they probably paid out to the ex wife too however I totally disagree that they are able to just simply take somebody's word for it, my dad never owed her a penny - I think it's a disgraceful and disrespectful thing to do. However it is over now and I just wanted to update people and thank everybody who helped me and offered advice xx
    • Silvertabby
    • By Silvertabby 15th Jul 17, 11:04 AM
    • 1,256 Posts
    • 1,456 Thanks
    Silvertabby
    I do also think that they probably paid out to the ex wife too however I totally disagree that they are able to just simply take somebody's word for it, my dad never owed her a penny - I think it's a disgraceful and disrespectful thing to do. However it is over now and I just wanted to update people and thank everybody who helped me and offered advice xx
    It was cheaper than the admin costs of dealing with a formal complaint from the ex wife. However, as you are not out of pocket (the pension fund is) I would put it behind you, and use your £200 for nice family outing in memory of your dad.

    I remember some odd cases when I was a pensions administrator - one which dragged on for ages involved a chap who was trying to claim the whole of his alleged father's lump sum death benefit. Problem was, dad's name wasn't listed on his birth certificate, and the deceased pension fund member's immediate family (mother and sisters) had no knowledge of this 'child'. The entire claim was based on the child's mum allegedly telling him who his dad was just before she died. The 'child' wanted his alleged father's body exhumed so DNA tests could be carried out, but the family refused. It went on and on and the admin costs were horrendous - but the money did go to the member's mum in the end.
    • masonj3
    • By masonj3 15th Jul 17, 2:49 PM
    • 165 Posts
    • 28 Thanks
    masonj3
    Wow what a mess !! I expect they see it all - had my dad owed the arrears I wouldnt of had a problem I just think it is wrong that someone can effectively lie and get away with it especially not having any proof He died 10 months ago and his ex wife only contacted the court to ask if there were any arrears a couple of weeks ago when the pension company contacted her. Just glad it is over and done with xx
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