Pension Scheme That Failed to Consider Wife's Claim Called to Account

9th September 2019 By Arman Khosravi

It is usual for occupational pension schemes to allow the spouse or partner of a scheme member to receive a reduced pension in the event that the member predeceases them. Normally, the appropriate beneficiary is set out in the scheme rules. With defined contribution schemes, such as Self-Invested Personal Pensions, the owner of the pension fund can choose to whom their pension pot is left by lodging a statement of choice with the pension scheme trustees. This latter arrangement can make pension scheme holdings useful tools in Inheritance Tax (IHT) planning as the pension passed on does not form part of a person’s estate for IHT purposes and no tax will be payable if the scheme owner dies before the age of 75.

It is important that pension scheme trustees consider their responsibilities in respect of dependants’ pensions carefully. In a recent case, the wife of a deceased pension scheme member complained to the Pensions Ombudsman that she had been deprived of her rightful pension when the scheme trustees decided to pay the dependant’s pension to his current partner. Although the woman no longer lived with him, she was still legally married to him.

No attempt had been made to establish whether either of the two women involved was financially dependent on the deceased scheme member or whether he was married.

The Pensions Ombudsman ordered the pension scheme trustees to reconsider their decision and to pay £500 in compensation to the man’s wife.

Source: Concious

Latest News

Always Take Independent Professional Advice Before Investing Your Money

27th May, 2020 By

Fraudulent investment schemes are perennially tempting to the unwary and it really does make sense to take independent professional advice before parting with your money. In one case, the High Court found compelling evidence that hundreds of small investors had fallen victim to such a scheme. About 240 investors claimed to have been lured into a fraudulent commodity trading scheme by marketing literature which promised exceptionally high, and essentially risk-free, returns. The scheme was promoted by an overseas company that was later dissolved. After the scheme was closed, the majority...

Do Your Medical Records Stay Confidential Forever?

22nd May, 2020 By

Your privacy rights will die with you, but that does not mean that just anyone will be permitted access to your medical records after you are gone. The extent to which such records should remain under wraps post mortem was analysed in a High Court test case. A man believed that his brother had, some years prior to his death, arranged to have samples of his sperm frozen at a fertility clinic. As personal representative of his brother's estate, he asked the clinic to provide him with copies of all...

Cruelly Deceitful Husband Ordered to Pay Betrayed Ex-Wife £2.25 Million

19th May, 2020 By

Where blame, if any, attaches for the breakdown of a marriage is generally irrelevant when it comes to dividing assets following divorce. However, as a cruelly deceitful husband discovered to his cost, bad behaviour can have consequences in that it is hardly likely to endear you to a family judge. The case concerned a couple of Russian origin who had two children during their 25-year marriage. The husband had encouraged his wife to move to the UK with their children whilst he remained in Russia. It came as a complete...

Lordship of the Manor Almost Scuppers Residential Development

14th May, 2020 By

Lordships of the manor, whilst sounding grand, are often viewed as arcane titles with little real significance in terms of property rights. However, that is not always so and, in one High Court case, a lordship which was bought for just £100 almost proved a fatal stumbling block to a proposed residential development. As lords of the manor – a title they had acquired from their father, who bought it in the 1960s – a brother and sister owned the freehold of a scenic common. They grew concerned after the...