Ask the Expert: How can I leave my pension pot to my sons after I die?

PUBLISHED: 06:30 17 March 2018 | UPDATED: 09:16 17 March 2018

Carl Lamb, managing director of Almary Green

Carl Lamb, managing director of Almary Green


Our reader this week has a question about death benefits. Carl Lamb from Almary Green responds.

I’ve had a meeting with my financial adviser this week and talked about my pension.

He’s left some forms with me to sort out regarding the death benefits where I need to give details of who I want my pension to go to when I die.

I have two sons and am leaving everything in my will to them so surely I don’t need to separately say that the pension should go to them too?

I know my eldest son will be unhappy with having his details recorded on the pension company’s database.

Response from Carl Lamb of Almary Green

The death benefits coming from anything left in your pension pot when you die are distributed at the discretion of the pension company. The scheme administrators will normally take your wishes into account and these are recorded by them through the form that your financial adviser has presumably left with you – a Death Benefit Expression of Wishes form.

What happens if you haven’t made a nomination depends on whether or not you have surviving dependants.

If you have dependants, the scheme will usually only be able to provide death benefits to them. If you don’t, then the scheme administrators can normally nominate any individual to receive the benefits at its discretion.

It is therefore important to record your wishes in this way so that you ensure those you want to benefit do so.

It’s also important to ensure that you review the wishes you’ve expressed regularly to ensure they reflect any changes in your circumstances.

If, for example, you had nominated your spouse and then divorced him or her, then your expression of wishes will be disregarded.

Equally if someone nominated in an expression of wishes pre-deceases the pension holder, it will be disregarded.

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