L&G DB death benefit timescale

My father passed away in March and I have been sorting his estate. As part of this I contacted L&G who provided/administer his defined benefit workplace pension. This is because my mum should be entitled to a residual benefit I believe. I have sent various paperwork and on the 6th May received a letter from L&G to say they have all of the necessary paperwork and the case was now with the trustees. I will therefore be advised of any benefits due to mum in due course. 

I followed up with two emails in the last couple of weeks to ask how often the trustees meet and when we can expect to hear something but have had no response to either. 

Does anyone have any idea how long these things may take as I know I need to give appropriate time but equally my mum is keen to understand where she stands financially as my dad was the main money earner when in both work and retirement. 

I’ll obviously try calling to chase but I’m exasperated with spending life on hold waiting to speak to human beings at all of these financial institutions!

Thanks in advance for any guidance/idea of the timescales you can provide. 
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  • xylophonexylophone Forumite
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    Does anyone have any idea how long these things may take 

    I fear that this is one of those "as long a piece of string" situations - at the best of times, pension administration  can be grindingly slow - post pandemic, we still have the universal covid excuse to cover every delay?

    Do you have the scheme guide? This should give an indication of what a widow may expect.

  • edited 23 June at 10:36AM
    MarconMarcon Forumite
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    edited 23 June at 10:36AM
    OldSmithy said:
    My father passed away in March and I have been sorting his estate. As part of this I contacted L&G who provided/administer his defined benefit workplace pension. This is because my mum should be entitled to a residual benefit I believe. I have sent various paperwork and on the 6th May received a letter from L&G to say they have all of the necessary paperwork and the case was now with the trustees. I will therefore be advised of any benefits due to mum in due course. 

    I followed up with two emails in the last couple of weeks to ask how often the trustees meet and when we can expect to hear something but have had no response to either. 

    Does anyone have any idea how long these things may take as I know I need to give appropriate time but equally my mum is keen to understand where she stands financially as my dad was the main money earner when in both work and retirement. 

    I’ll obviously try calling to chase but I’m exasperated with spending life on hold waiting to speak to human beings at all of these financial institutions!

    Thanks in advance for any guidance/idea of the timescales you can provide. 
    Sounds as if your father died fairly soon after his pension came into payment, which means there may be a modest lump sum payable representing the balance of whatever the 'guarantee' period is under his scheme's rules. Typically this is 5 years, so if a member dies before 60 monthly payments have been made, a lump representing the unpaid instalments is payable. The trustees have discretion over who receives this, an approach which means that it can generally be paid out tax free.

    What should not be waiting for a trustee decision is any spouse's pension if your parents were married, unless they only married within the 6 months preceding your father's death. If there's a large age gap (typically 10 years or more), then trustee discretion may be needed to decide whether or not to reduce your mother's pension because she was so much younger, and thus her pension will be payable for much longer than the more typical age gap of a couple of years.

    If they were not married, then it sounds as if the trustees will need to exercise their discretion about possible payment of an unmarried partner's pension. 

    Any discretion has to be properly exercised based on full information, but if L&G have confirmed they have all the necessary paperwork, it should just be a case of finding out when the trustees will next meet.

    Do you have any contact details for any of the trustees rather than just L&G? If so, I'd start there, which is likely to speed things up.
  • OldSmithyOldSmithy Forumite
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    Thanks for the responses and apologies if I’ve confused the issue with my terminology. My dad was 80 so had been retired a good while and it is not a death in service benefit that I’m wanting to sort but the pension provision that will be due to mum upon his death. As it was a DB scheme I believe there is likely to be a spouses survivor pension of say 50% and this is what I’m waiting to sort for her. 

    Mum is also 80 so same age and they were married for a long time so no real issues, I think it should be straight forward in reality assuming the provision exists in the rules which I can only assume does given all of the paperwork they have asked for. Unfortunately whilst I know of the scheme as mum worked for the same company for a few years and receives a small pension as a result I don’t have the scheme rules which tells me of any entitlement. 

    I guess I’ll have to just sit tight and tell mum to do the same thing with the odd chasing phone call. 

    Thanks for the help though. 
  • xylophonexylophone Forumite
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    I don’t have the scheme rules which tells me of any entitlement. 

    It is just possible that you might find the scheme booklet on the internet.

    What has happened to your mother's state pension?

  • MarconMarcon Forumite
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    OldSmithy said:
    Thanks for the responses and apologies if I’ve confused the issue with my terminology. My dad was 80 so had been retired a good while and it is not a death in service benefit that I’m wanting to sort but the pension provision that will be due to mum upon his death. As it was a DB scheme I believe there is likely to be a spouses survivor pension of say 50% and this is what I’m waiting to sort for her. 

    Mum is also 80 so same age and they were married for a long time so no real issues, I think it should be straight forward in reality assuming the provision exists in the rules which I can only assume does given all of the paperwork they have asked for. Unfortunately whilst I know of the scheme as mum worked for the same company for a few years and receives a small pension as a result I don’t have the scheme rules which tells me of any entitlement. 

    I guess I’ll have to just sit tight and tell mum to do the same thing with the odd chasing phone call. 

    Thanks for the help though. 
    It's hard to see why the trustees need to take a decision on this, or what 'case' could be with them. An 80 year old should not be left in limbo while insurers and/or trustees faff around.

    I'd contact https://www.moneyhelper.org.uk/en/pensions-and-retirement/pension-problems for free, expert and impartial help in moving this forward.
  • OldSmithyOldSmithy Forumite
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    I’ll have a look for the booklet via Google and see what I can find. 

    To be fair by comparison, I used the tell us once service and they have been great. As mum only worked for a short time as she looked after family and dad went to work she had a small state pension. However, this has now increased following dad passing away as she has been entitled to some of “his” state pension. That’s all sorted and being paid so she isn’t destitute but she keeps asking me if she has enough to live on so I just want to know where she stands and talk her through it. 

    If L&G had everything required on 6th may I thought that as it should be straight forward we would have heard something by now. I’ll keep pressing. 
  • xylophonexylophone Forumite
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    That’s all sorted 

    Did your father have a "contracted out deduction" shown on his state pension?

    See https://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/discussion/comment/79022643/#Comment_79022643

  • BrieBrie Forumite
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    I've been spending the last 2 months chasing info for one of my pensions and have just been given no info and completely misdirected info.  Sending me files by email that I can't open.  Sending emails to an incorrect email address etc.

    So last week I emailed them again my last query which they hadn't responded to and had COMPLAINT at the start of the subject line.  Everything was sorted within 4 days.
    "Never retract, never explain, never apologise; get things done and let them howl.”
  • Marmaduke123Marmaduke123 Forumite
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    I don't quite understand what is happening here. My husband died in March, and was in receipt of a workplace pension administered by L & G. I found them one of the most timely and efficient organisations I had to deal with, they gave me clear timescales and stuck to them.

    Following my notification of my husband's  death I received a letter from them on 19th April explaining what I had to do, and confirming the amount of my spouse's pension.  I returned the requested documents the following day, and received another letter on 9 May confirming receipt of the documents. On the same day I received a payment into my bank account of the spouse's pension due from my husband's death.  I have since received a monthly payment.

    Perhaps the trustees of your father's pension scheme have to be involved? Clearly there is something very different to my case.
  • OldSmithyOldSmithy Forumite
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    I’ve just spoken to L&G and asked why trustees had to be involved as they said they were still awaiting a response. It seems that as they took over administration of the scheme they do have to check with trustees first. They are going to send a chasing letter for me though. 

    I’ll also check any documents to see if there was a contracted out deduction. Will this make a difference?

     Thanks 
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