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Benefits payable on death

In the event of your death, a lump sum and pension benefits for your dependants may be payable.

The benefits payable will depend on your circumstances at the time of your death.

A lump sum on death is a normally tax free sum of money that:

  • is payable after your death while still an active scheme member
  • may be payable after death in retirement if you have been in receipt of your pension for less than 5 years

A lump sum on death goes to the organisation or one or more persons you have nominated to receive it.

If you have not made such a nomination, the lump sum on death goes to your

  • surviving spouse
  • civil partner
  • qualifying nominated partner, if you have one

Otherwise, it goes to your legal personal representative.

We base the lump sum on death on your circumstances at the time of death.

If you're a current contributing member

2 x actual pay* (*pensionable pay if 1995 Section, or reckonable pay 2008 Section)

In the 2015 Scheme, the higher of:

  • relevant earnings in the last 12 months of pensionable membership, multiplied by 2
  • revalued pensionable earnings for the scheme year, up to 10 years earlier, with highest revalued pensionable earnings, multiplied by 2

If you're a deferred member

  • Annual pension (1995 Section) multiplied by 3
  • Annual pension (2008 Section) multiplied by 2.25
  • Annual pension that the member would have received, if they retired on the date of death (2015 Scheme), multiplied by 2.025

Benefits payable will depend on the circumstances at the time of your death.

They might change depending on whether you're a contributing or a former member of the NHS Pension Scheme.

If a member dies in retirement, any lump sum that may be payable, will be less.

Find out more about benefits payable on death in the bereavements section of our NHS Pensions website.

An adult dependant's pension may go to your surviving partner. This pension is payable for the life of your surviving partner. The rate of pension depends on your circumstances at the time of your death.

A children's pension may also go to each of your dependant children up to their 23rd birthday.

Find out more about the life assurance benefits provided by us in the member guides which are available on our NHS Pensions website.