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Bereavement pension

In the 13 weeks following the death of a member, a bereavement pension can be paid to a surviving partner, if the member was:

  • an active member at the date of death – the weekly amount of bereavement pension would be the difference between the weekly amount of pensionable pay or assumed pensionable pay and the weekly amount of surviving partner’s pension.
  • a pensioner member at the date of death – the weekly amount of bereavement pension would be the difference between the weekly amount of pension which the pensioner member was entitled to at the date of death, and the weekly amount of surviving partner’s pension.
  • a deferred member at the date of death and the pension had not come into payment – no bereavement pension would be payable.

Where there is no surviving partner, an eligible child would be entitled to the bereavement pension. If there is more than one eligible child, the bereavement pension would be divided so that each receives an equal share. 

The amount of bereavement pension would be the same for a surviving partner, regardless of whether the deceased was an active member, or a member in receipt of a pension. If one of the children ceases to be eligible during the 13 weeks in which payment will be made, the pension would be re-divided in equal portions between the remaining eligible children.

Payment of bereavement pension would also be made to an eligible child or children if a surviving partner were to die before the end of the 13 week payment period. The child or children would receive bereavement pension for the remaining part of the period.

Survivor’s long-term pension

In the event of the death of a scheme member – whether before or after retirement – a pension will be paid to an eligible surviving partner, provided they had at least 3 months’ qualifying service. The scheme member’s active, deferred or retirement account would be closed and a pension account would be established for the surviving partner.

A person is a ‘surviving partner’ if they are the spouse or civil partner of the member or an unmarried co-habiting partner and:

  • could enter into a marriage or civil partnership with that member under the law of England and Wales but have not done so
  • the authority determine that they are financially dependent on the member or is, with the member, in a state of mutual financial dependency
  • in a long-term relationship with the member, such as, a relationship that has continued for a period of at least 2 years at the time the question of status needs to be considered (or a shorter period at the discretion of the authority)

Firefighters may wish to complete our joint declaration form in order to confirm they wish their partner to receive a survivors pension.

Providing the surviving partner is less than 12 years younger than the member at the date of death, a surviving partner’s pension would be:

  • death of an active member – half of the pension which the member would be entitled to draw if, at the date of death, they had retired on the grounds of ill-health with a higher tier ill-health pension
  • death of a deferred member – half of the amount of pension in the member’s deferred account plus half of any added pension in the member’s added pension account
  • death of a pensioner member – half of the rate of pension payable to the member immediately before the death. This would be the pension after any commutation or allocation but before any reduction made for early retirement

If the surviving partner is more than 12 years younger than the member at date of death, a reduction will be made to the pension payable of up to 50% of the pension.

Please note, a surviving partner’s pension is payable for life. It would not cease on marriage or remarriage or upon entering into a new partnership.

In addition to the surviving partner’s pension, a bereavement pension may also be payable.

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