West Yorkshire Pension Fund member website

Main content

Firefighters 2015 scheme – Active
What if I die?

What if I die?

Breavement Pension

For the first 13 weeks following the death of a member, a "bereavement pension" may 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 that the member was receiving at the date of death, 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 to which the pensioner member was entitled 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 as for a surviving partner according to 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 for which payment is to 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 entitled to the payment 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.

Lump Sum death benefit

If you were to die in service as an active member of FPS 2015, a lump sum death benefit would be payable. This would be a lump sum equivalent to three times your final pay as at the date of death. Final pay is normally the greater of the following:

  1. the amount of the member's pensionable pay and assumed pensionable pay during their last 365 days of continuous pensionable service, or
  2. the amount of the member's pensionable pay and assumed pensionable pay during their last 3 years of pensionable service, divided by three.

If a continuous period of service includes 29th February, "366" is substituted for "365". Also, provisions are made for arriving at a figure of "annualised" final pay if the continuous period of pensionable service is less than 365 days.

If you have more than one active member's account, a lump sum death benefit is payable in respect of each of those accounts.

If you were to die within 5 years of your pension coming into payment, there would be a lump sum death benefit equivalent to the difference between five times the annual amount of pension and the amount of instalments of pension paid.

If you were both an active member and a pensioner member at the date of death, the amount of lump sum death benefit payable would be the greater of that which would be paid in respect of the active membership or of the pensioner membership.

The authority may, at its absolute discretion, pay the lump sum death benefit to or for the member's nominee, personal representatives, or any other person appearing to the authority to have been a relative or dependant of the Scheme member.

Death grant form

Death grant notes

Survivors pensions

Surviving partners

In the event of the death of a Scheme member (whether before or after retirement) provided they had at least 3 months' qualifying service, a pension will be paid to an eligible surviving partner. 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
  • cohabiting with the member and:
    • not married or in a civil partnership with that member or any other person, and
    • could enter into a marriage or civil partnership with that member under the law of England and Wales but have not done so, and
    • financially dependent on the member or is, with the member, in a state of mutual financial dependency, and
    • in a long-term relationship with the member, i.e. 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).

Subject to the "wide age disparity" rule mentioned below, a surviving partner's pension:

  • following the death of an active member would be 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.
  • following the death of a deferred member would be 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.
  • following the death of a pensioner member would be 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.)

The "wide age disparity" rule requires that if, on the death of an active, deferred or pensioner member a surviving partner's pension is payable to a person who is more than 12 years' younger than the member, that pension must be reduced by the lower of:

(a) 50% of the annual rate of pension, or

(b) 2.5 x (N - 12)% of the annual rate of pension.

where N is the number of whole years by which the surviving partner is younger than the member.

For example, if the surviving partner's pension is, say £12,000 a year but they were 15 years younger than the member, the pension must be reduced by the lower of:

(a) 50% x £12,000, i.e. £6,000, or

(b) 2.5 x (15 – 12)% x £12,000, i.e. £900.

The surviving partner's pension will be £12,000 - £900 = £11,100 a year.

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.

Eligible children

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

A "child" in relation to a deceased member means:

  1. a natural child, stepchild or adopted child of the member; or
  2. the natural child, step-child or adopted child of the member's spouse, civil partner or cohabiting partner; or
  3. any natural child of the member who was born after the member's death and with whom the child's mother was pregnant at the date of the death.

The child is an "eligible child" if:

  • financially dependent on the deceased member at the date of the deceased member's death (or, in the case of (c) above, would have been if born before the death);
  • not married or in a civil partnership; and
  • the child satisfies any of the following conditions:
    • they are under age 18, or
    • they are in full-time education or on a course of at least one year's duration and have not reached the age of 23, or
    • they were dependent on the member, because of permanent incapacity of mind or body, at the date of the member's death.

Following the death of an active member, an eligible child or eligible children would be entitled to a "specified proportion" 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.

Following the death of a deferred member, an eligible child or children would be entitled to a "specified proportion" of the amount of pension in the member's deferred account plus half of any added pension in the member's added pension account.

Following the death of a pensioner member, an eligible child or children would be entitled to a "specified proportion" 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.) The "specified proportion" would be as follows:

  • if there is one eligible child it is one quarter of the pension mentioned above
  • if there is more than one eligible child it is one half of the pension mentioned above, divided between the children equally; if one of the children ceases to be an "eligible child" the half pension would be reapportioned between the others.

If, at the date of death, the member's benefits had been reduced because of a pension sharing order the specified portion would be based on the member's pension as if the reduction had not been made.

Sometimes there may be an eligible child or eligible children, but no person entitled to a surviving partner's pension. In these circumstances the pension that would have been paid to the surviving partner ("Pensions for Surviving Partners") will be paid to an eligible child, or apportioned between eligible children and paid in addition to their eligible child's pension.


Survivor's form(pdf)

Survivor's notes(pdf)