Parent has terminal illness- Help locating pension and other benefits.

Hello,

Unfortunate situation I have found myself in, my father is 58 and is in the last few months of his life due to cancer. A few years prior to him getting ill, he was working for a company and we are very sure he was paying into a private pension, set up by the employer. Maybe even his employer before that. We have no paper work and unsure how to find this.

My understanding is, from the McMillan website, if you are below retirement age and have a terminal prognosis you can claim your pension. In the family we don't have a lot of money, and we are hoping we could get access to the pension pot, however small as this would certainly help with funeral fees as that is going to be a big cost for us.

 I have used the findpensioncontacts government website, and typed in his employers however none are coming up on the list.  I have verified the employers name with company’s house, the employer has since dissolved. But it won't show on the government website. (His previous employer also doesn’t show; however he potentially didn’t work for them when the work place pensions came into action). 

He is on benefits, and my mother works however is on a very low income. I don't know if there is any grants to help with funeral fees or if this will be passed to her, and myself.

I have read a post on MSE as well, in regards to a government widow pension, I am unable to find the terminology or the link any more if your spouse has died before a certain age. Could anyone help link me to that page, they are not married but lived 30+ years together and had children.

 

Much appreciated any help, as I ideally don't want to put this all onto my credit card but needs must. 

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Comments

  • Your question regarding his pensions may be better posted over on the pensions board, but if he did pay into any pensions your mother should be able to benefit from them If he has any defined benefit pension then there will be spousal benefits attached to those, other types of pensions will have built up a lump sum that can be transferred to her.

    As for funeral costs please don’t get into any sort of debt trying to pay for it. If he has no estate to pay for it then the family are not obliged to pay for a funeral and the LA will be obliged to fund a public health funeral. This would be a simple cremation.
  • Mojisola
    Mojisola Posts: 35,545
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    He is on benefits, and my mother works however is on a very low income. I don't know if there is any grants to help with funeral fees or if this will be passed to her, and myself.

    they are not married but lived 30+ years together and had children

    Is he well enough to get married - even if it's an urgent bed-side ceremony?

  • Mojisola said:
    He is on benefits, and my mother works however is on a very low income. I don't know if there is any grants to help with funeral fees or if this will be passed to her, and myself.

    they are not married but lived 30+ years together and had children

    Is he well enough to get married - even if it's an urgent bed-side ceremony?

    Potentially however I remember reading on MSE, that as long as you could evidence you have lived as a married couple there is no issues. 
  • Your question regarding his pensions may be better posted over on the pensions board, but if he did pay into any pensions your mother should be able to benefit from them If he has any defined benefit pension then there will be spousal benefits attached to those, other types of pensions will have built up a lump sum that can be transferred to her.

    As for funeral costs please don’t get into any sort of debt trying to pay for it. If he has no estate to pay for it then the family are not obliged to pay for a funeral and the LA will be obliged to fund a public health funeral. This would be a simple cremation.
    If I knew how to move it I would... whoops. 

    Thank You for the comment about LA, however I have read things that ultimately LA will chase down any very close family to reclaim their costs. 


  • la531983
    la531983 Posts: 1,680
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    edited 16 October 2023 at 12:00PM
    2319WeHaveA2319 said:

    however I have read things that ultimately LA will chase down any very close family to reclaim their costs. 
     however I have read things that ultimately LA will chase down any very close family to reclaim their costs.
    Where have you read this?

    I mean, they can try, but if there is no estate they are whistling in the wind.
  • gwynlas
    gwynlas Posts: 1,626
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    Sorry to hear about your troubles. Unless and even if your famly are religious funerals can be as elaborate or simple as you like with varying costs.The cheapest is a simple cremation where the ashes are returned to the family. There is no need for an expensive coffin, hearse or funeral cars to ferry the mourners around. If you want a service/gathering then this could be at home, a local hall or public venue. You just need someone to start with an acknowledgement of why you are there share memories and reminice. There is no need for service sheets refreshments or flowers. I ecently attended one at a Catholic church with a full sevice and refreshments in parish hall but there was a cardboard coffin with a bunch of garden flowers and their rosary beads on top. 
    The LA will provide a simple burial or cremation but if they try to reclaim costs it should only be from the estate
  • Mojisola
    Mojisola Posts: 35,545
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    As for funeral costs please don’t get into any sort of debt trying to pay for it. If he has no estate to pay for it then the family are not obliged to pay for a funeral and the LA will be obliged to fund a public health funeral. This would be a simple cremation.
    Thank You for the comment about LA, however I have read things that ultimately LA will chase down any very close family to reclaim their costs.

    The LA can claim from any estate that the deceased left and can ask relatives for a contribution but there's no way they can force anyone to pay.

  • Mojisola
    Mojisola Posts: 35,545
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    Potentially however I remember reading on MSE, that as long as you could evidence you have lived as a married couple there is no issues. 
    I'd be interested to see any links to that info.
  • marcia_
    marcia_ Posts: 1,532
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    He is on benefits, and my mother works however is on a very low income. I don't know if there is any grants to help with funeral fees or if this will be passed to her, and myself

    https://www.gov.uk/funeral-payments
  • Marcon
    Marcon Posts: 10,047
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    Mojisola said:
    Potentially however I remember reading on MSE, that as long as you could evidence you have lived as a married couple there is no issues. 
    I'd be interested to see any links to that info.
    I'm afraid that 'info' is quite simply wrong - or at least has the potential to be very misleading. It certainly won't help if the scheme is question is a defined benefit scheme and doesn't provide benefits for unmarried partners, so marriage would make things a lot easier in many ways, assuming that's what the couple want, they are both free to marry and there are no reasons not to do so. If he hasn't got a will that could be very important.

    OP, I'm sorry you (and more especially your father) are having to cope with this. If a medical practitioner confirms he has a life expectancy of no more than 12 months, then depending on the rules of the scheme(s) he was in, he may be able to  take the whole of his pension as a tax free lump sum. The downside is that those funds would then be available to any creditors if they are unspent at the time of his death.

    If you post the names of his former employers here, someone may be able to tell you about their pension arrangments and how to contact them.

    Also worth trying gretel.co.uk
    Googling on your question might have been both quicker and easier, if you're only after simple facts rather than opinions!  
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