Death Benefits

Death in Service

If a member dies in reckonable service, or within 2 months of leaving (if the member is a supply teacher they have to have worked within the last 2 months) or within one year of leaving reckonable service by reason of incapacity, a lump sum is paid. The death lump sum for a member who dies in pensionable service after 1st April 2007 is equal to three times the full time equivalent annual rate of pensionable earnings at date of death. This lump sum of three times the full time equivalent annual rate of pensionable earnings at date of death is also payable if a member dies while on unpaid maternity or parental leave.

Payment of the lump sum is made to the person nominated by the deceased to receive the payment, or in the absence of such a nomination to the deceased's spouse/civil partner or legal personal representative.

Death in Preservation

The lump sum in this case would be either the lump sum that would have been paid if the member had retired at date of death, or contributions plus compound interest less any benefits already paid.

A lump sum is also payable if a member dies after ceasing to be employed in reckonable service, provided he or she had qualified for benefits.

Death during re employment

The amount is 3 times the pensionable salary, less any lump sum already awarded.

Nomination for Death Grant

There is the facility to nominate specific people to receive the lump sum, by completing the Lump Sum on Death Nomination form. A nomination can be made to more than one person, this is known as a multiple nomination. The nominations on the form must add up to 100% in total.


In the event of a death in service the employer should submit leaver form TSS2 (via EDM) and the Death in Service form to SPPA. Separate arrangements exist for claims for death lump sum to be processed by SPPA, using the Death Benefits application form.

Short Term Pensions

Action by employer

Short-term pensions are payable to widows/widowers/civil partners or children of members who die in service. Employers should establish whether a short-term pension is payable under scheme regulations. The short term pension is then reclaimed from the employer's monthly contribution payment.

Female members

Prior to the introduction of widowers' benefits from 6th April 1988, a married female member may have nominated a beneficiary for a pension. If the nomination is in respect of a person other than her spouse and that nomination is retained (SPPA has approached the few members who fall within this category), this may result in short-term pensions being paid only to the beneficiary. The long term pensions may be paid to both the nominated beneficiary and the spouse. The rate of pension payable to the spouse, however, will be lower than it would otherwise be. Such occurrences will be rare and if short-term pensions are due SPPA will contact the employer.

Short-Term Pension

CategoryPayeeDuration (months)Pension rate
1Spouse, civil partner or adult nominated beneficiary (no child(ren))3Annual rate of salary on last day of reckonable service
2Spouse, civil partner or adult nominated beneficiary (1 child or more)3Annual rate of salary on last day of reckonable service multiplied by 2
3No spouse, civil partner or adult nominated beneficiary (1 child or more)6Annual rate of salary on last day of reckonable service


Notification of a Members Death in Service

The employer should notify SPPA of a member's death by submitting the Death in Service form. The employer should also forward the Death Benefits application form to the deceased member's spouse, civil partner, nominated partner or, if there is no surviving spouse, civil or nominated partner, or to the personal representatives of the deceased member for completion and return to SPPA direct as soon as possible.

On receipt of all parts of the above forms, SPPA will immediately arrange to make prompt payment of any death lump sum which may be due to the spouse, civil partner or personal representatives.

Notes for the completion of the Death in Service form

The employer should complete details on the form and send it to SPPA as soon as possible along with a completed TSS2 – Leaver form. At the same time, the employer should enter the member's superannuation reference number in the top right hand corner of the accompanying Death Benefits application form.

This form should then be sent to the deceased members spouse or civil partner or, in the absence of a surviving spouse or civil partner, the personal representatives of the member for completion and return direct to SPPA. Employers should refer any enquiries to SPPA.

Civil Partners

The introduction of the Civil Partnership Act which came into force on 5th December 2005, enabled same sex couples to form a civil partnership and thereby have entitlement to survivor pensions. There is now a facility to pay short and long term pensions to civil partners. The amount payable on death is based on service from 6th April 1972, the same as widowers' benefits. It is also possible to purchase service prior to 1988 to increase these benefits. SPPA should be asked for more information regarding this facility. Short-term pension to Civil Partners will be paid by the employer on receipt of the Death Benefits application form and having produced the Civil Partner Registration certificate.

Children's Pensions

There may be entitlement to dependant child pensions. Upon the death of a member while either in pensionable employment or while in retiral, a child's pension may be paid initially for 3 months, then a long term pension based on family benefit service from 1972.To qualify for the dependant child's pension, a dependant child must be unmarried and under age 17. If over age 17, they must be in full time education, undertaking a course of at least 2 years' duration. Documentary proof of courses undertaken will be required. All children's pensions will cease on their 23rd birthday. If there is a break in full time education of more than 18 months, there will be no further entitlement to dependant child's pension.

There is provision to pay continuing child's pension where the child is permanently incapacitated and unable to earn a living. Any such cases should be referred to SPPA with appropriate supporting medical information. These cases will be referred to the SPPA Medical Advisers to determine continuing eligibility.

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