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If you die whilst you are:

  • an active member with 2 years’ qualifying service,
  • receiving a pension or with an entitlement to receive a deferred pension when you reach your State Pension age

a pension will be payable to any eligible child. An eligible child is:

  • a child who is your natural child, stepchild or adopted child
  • any other child who was substantially dependent on you (either financially or by reason of disability) at the time of your death

Benefits for eligible children are payable to a posthumous child if the child’s mother is pregnant with the child at the time of your death, including the situation where you are the mother and you die in childbirth.

The pension payable to an eligible child is generally 25% of your pension entitlement at the date of your death, but if there are three or more eligible children, each receives an amount equivalent to 50% of your pension entitlement divided by the number of eligible children.

The pension entitlement for this purpose is on the same basis as for adult survivors, for example, if you die whilst an active member and have at least two years’ qualifying service, it is 25% of the ill-health pension that you would have received if you had been permanently medically unfit for regular employment at the time of your death.


An ill-health pensioner in the 2015 Scheme has three eligible children under the age of 19. Her/his pension is £18,000 per year.

If s/he were to die, each of his/her eligible children would receive a child’s pension calculated as 50% x £18,000/3 = £3,000 per year (since there are 3 eligible children in total)

A child only remains an eligible child until s/he reaches the age of 19 unless:

  • s/he is in full-time education on a course of at least one year’s duration, in which case the pension is payable whilst full-time education continues but not beyond the child’s 23rd birthday
  • s/he is unable to engage in regular employment due to physical or mental impairment which is likely to be permanent at the date of your death, in which case the pension is payable for life.

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