Pensions – By Mike Freer, of BWCI
SOMEONE who was winding up the estate of a family member said that they were not sure how to sort out the deceased’s pensions.
In these circumstances, tracking everything down can be tricky, particularly if you need to hunt for all of the paperwork.
It is fairly common for someone to have more than one source of pension income. A good place to start would be by looking at their bank statements from the past year to identify regular income payments that may be pensions. Typically, pensions are paid monthly but some may be paid either weekly or every four weeks. Very small amounts might only be paid quarterly or annually.
You will then need to notify each of the pension providers. As well as the Government of Jersey for the old age pension and any company or personal pension administrators; you may also need to contact the UK’s Department for Work and Pensions if your relative was receiving the UK state pension.
You will need to advise each provider of the date of death and also check whether there are any further benefits payable, or whether any overpayments have been made. The provider may need to see an original death certificate and other documentary evidence.
However, requirements from individual pension providers may vary. You do not necessarily need to have all of the information available before you contact them initially. They will advise you about what they need, as this may depend on how large the payments are.
If your relative has a surviving spouse or dependant, then they might be entitled to a pension in their own right. Sometimes a lump sum is also payable. Typically this is most likely if a company pension has been paid for less than five years, although sometimes it might be a longer period.