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Caveat

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Deaths, Funerals & Probate
148 replies 37.7K views
1911131415

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  • freda11freda11 Forumite
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    Just heard they have replied, if you can call it a reply. All the letter says is they are in receipt of our letters and are taking instructions. They seem more concerned that our solicitor never responded to the private pension in our last letter, the blood son seems to think he was entitled to a split 50% share same with dads widow,i.e.they both get 25% but all we know is the private company on receipt of dads death certificate rang mum and told her she was entitled to the entire 50% share and have been paying it her since. This is something he needs to take up with the company not us, we are not aware of any expressions of wishes letter, nor must the company otherwise surley they would of acted on it?

    Se 7 weeks on we have got no further, we have now told our solicitor to inform them to take this up with the company pension and that the offer will expire in 7 days (she received their reply before writing to inform him offer withdrawn).
  • edited 4 February 2014 at 11:54AM
    securityguysecurityguy Forumite
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    edited 4 February 2014 at 11:54AM
    freda11 wrote: »
    the blood son seems to think he was entitled to a split 50% share same with dads widow,i.e.they both get 25%

    What on earth gives him that idea? When I was the trustee of a pension scheme I had cause to look at not only our scheme, but a variety of others: _every_ scheme with a widow's pension pays at most a 50% pension to the widow/er, plus in some cases an additional payment to children under 18. No scheme pays to adult children, nor is there any reason why they should.
  • freda11freda11 Forumite
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    There is rumour that there is an expression of wishes letter (sent by the pension company over 20 years ago) to his father and he filled it in and stated that the pension should be split equally between mum and son. We are wondering whether this letter was filled in but never sent to the pension company. Surely when the company received the death certificate and arranged for the pension to be paid to the widow they would of seen this EOW letter if they had ever received it?
  • rpcrpc Forumite
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    Expression of wish is non-binding. That is why it is a wish and not an instruction. I think it has to do with keeping the pension outside of the estate for IHT.

    If this was a pension scheme (as opposed to am annuity with spousal provision) then the trustees have absolute discretion as to who the dependent's is paid to.

    You get to give them an indication, but they are not obliged to follow it. If, for example, circumstances change (e.g. marriage, divorce, child grows up, death of the named dependent) between the expression of wish and death then they may elect to pay the pension to somebody else.
  • securityguysecurityguy Forumite
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    freda11 wrote: »
    There is rumour that there is an expression of wishes letter (sent by the pension company over 20 years ago) to his father and he filled it in and stated that the pension should be split equally between mum and son.

    He can't do that, unless the pension scheme is really weird (and, also, the trustees have a financial death wish), so I suspect family rumour has got the better of reality.

    An expression of wishes letter affects the death in service benefit. If you die while a _contributing_ member of the scheme (ie, not a deferred beneficiary because you've gone to another job, and not an active member drawing a pension) then there's a lump of cash, and that goes either to the nominated person (to avoid IHT), to a person decided by the trustees (again to avoid IHT, depending on the trustees' willingness to take the decision) or to the deceased's estate. You can nominate anyone, although the trustees don't actually have to obey the nomination, and might if in doubt put it to the deceased's estate anyway.

    But the spouse's pension goes to the widow/er. Pretty much, end of. Some schemes have provision for civil partners (not relevant 20 years ago) and very, very rare schemes supposedly have a provision for "common law" spouses (although I've never actually seen one named). But the wider the scheme spreads the net of partner, the more likely it is to impose an age limit. USS, the university pension scheme, has a limit that spouses who are more than (I think) twenty years younger than the pensioner get a reduced spousal pension.

    Any scheme which permitted people to "leave" their pension to an adult child would be committing financial suicide. It's reasonable to assume that on average, a child will die 25 years or more after their parent, and could easily die 50 years later (father in his forties, overall increases in life expectancy in the last few decades). Even a 25% pension would cost the scheme 12.5 years' salary, which would be more than the original pension could have expected to receive.
  • freda11freda11 Forumite
    236 posts
    Thanks securityguy. His widow seems to remember him filling in an EOW around 20 years ago but doing nothing with it. He nominated both mum and son to receive the 50% between them. I was just wondering if he came across this document would it be acted on by the pension company. Our solicitor is writing to the pension co to see that their company policy is on EOw letters. I am pretty certain both my partner and his mother are trustees, can you be a trustee as well as an executor? Mum will def not want him to have 25% and neither would my partner agree to it.
  • RASRAS Forumite
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    freda

    You are mixing up two things.

    1. Death in service benefit
    If dad had died before pensionable age and whilst still employed by the company/organisation, then there would be a lump sum payment instead of a pension payment to the deceased. The expression of wishes tells the pension provider how the deceased would like the lump sum to be distributed.

    This ceases to have any consequence if dad left the company or started receiving his pension before his death.

    2. Pension
    The amounts dad received on reaching retirement would be defined by the scheme. Some schemes include a reduced pension for the surviving spouse and it sounds like his did this. There is no option to nominate the recipient other than for those in same sex relationships who were allowed to do this before civil partnership became legal. The survivor's pension goes to the spouse as long as they were still married or to the civil partner.
    The person who has not made a mistake, has made nothing
  • edited 4 February 2014 at 2:28PM
    securityguysecurityguy Forumite
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    edited 4 February 2014 at 2:28PM
    freda11 wrote: »
    Thanks securityguy. His widow seems to remember him filling in an EOW around 20 years ago but doing nothing with it. He nominated both mum and son to receive the 50% between them.

    As RAS points out, you're confusing death in service benefits with pensions. If he was receiving a pension, there is no death in service benefit. Expressions of Wishes relate to death in service benefits, not pensions. You cannot leave a widow's pension to anyone other than your widow. If the widow then wishes to give half the pension to her son, her cleaner or the dog's home, that's her choice, but the money will be paid to her, and her alone, for the duration of her life, and no-one else's.

    If he was drawing a pension, as it appears he was, then there is no death in service benefit and therefore the expression of wishes forms are irrelevant.
    Our solicitor is writing to the pension co to see that their company policy is on EOw letters

    Seriously? You might do better with a solicitor who actually understands pensions. All he's doing is charging you money to write a letter which can have only one outcome: expressions of wishes forms are irrelevant once you start to draw your pension.
    I am pretty certain both my partner and his mother are trustees, can you be a trustee as well as an executor?

    Trustees of what? Yes, it's very common for executors to be trustees (and vice versa), and to be beneficiaries. The obvious scenario would be leaving some money to your spouse, with other money directly to your children in trust with your spouse as one of the trustees. However, unless I've missed something, you've at no point mentioned there are any trusts established in this will. What trusts? With whom as the ultimate beneficiaries?
  • freda11freda11 Forumite
    236 posts
    Thanks for your replies, this is making sense now! Mum has now found a document which states the company name and says retirement benefits plan, expression of wish form. It says Regarding who is to benefit from the plan on death of member. I XXX in the event of my death in company service..............
    Does this mean if he had died whilst still working there it would of been paid to the nominees?? But as he had long since retired it doesn't mean a jot?? It is dated 1982!!
  • RASRAS Forumite
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    freda11 wrote: »
    Does this mean if he had died whilst still working there it would of been paid to the nominees?? But as he had long since retired it doesn't mean a jot?? It is dated 1982!!

    That is exactly what it means and exactly why it is now completely irrelevant.

    Stop the solicitor writing to the company.

    You might even want to share this with the errant son and explain what it means.
    The person who has not made a mistake, has made nothing
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