Pensioner - All about my pension

Life certificate

What’s a Life Certificate and why might I get one?

From time-to-time we need to check that you are still alive and well, and getting the pension you are entitled to. This is entirely routine and we do it by sending most of our retired members a form to sign called a Life Certificate.

So there’s really nothing to worry about if you get one of these in the post, but we do need you to fill it in and send it back to us as soon as you can. We have to send Life Certificates because it’s one of our audit requirements, and because we have a ‘duty of care’ to protect our members’ money and guard against fraud.

Besides checking that you’re alive and well, and still getting the right amount of pension, the Life Certificate form also gives you the chance to tell us about other things that could affect the pension you get, for instance:

  • if you get another job, or
  • if you getting a dependant's pension but remarry, form a civil partnership, or start to live with someone as your husband, wife or civil partner.

We also need to know if for instance:

  • you become too ill to understand or handle your own affairs, or
  • you move house and forget to tell us

Frequently asked questions

  • Q1. Is this a scam?
  • A1. No, definitely not. We issue these forms to all our pensioners, at least once every 7 years. 

  • Q2. Why do I have to fill this in?
  • A2. We have a duty of care to protect your money and maintain the Pension Fund. And as part of this care we issue Life Certificates. The Life Certificates assists us in preventing fraud on your pension, help us establish cases where people have become unable to understand their own affairs and also reminds people to inform us about certain things that can affect their pension. 

    We have had case in the past where pensioners have died and relatives have not informed us of their deaths, continuing to fraudulently steal the pension. 

    We have uncovered cases of incapacitated pensioners, where they have been subject to financial abuse by family members and friends. 

    We have discovered cases where pensions should have been reduced/stopped but the recipients of the pension did not tell us about a change in their circumstances. 

  • Q3. Why do I need a witness?
  • A3.Part of the process of completing the Life Certificate is that we need an independent witness, who does not live with you and is not related to you. Most people have a friend, neighbour or an ex-work colleague who knows them. 

    We require an independent witness as our past experiences show us that the majority of fraud cases we have had, have been committed by a family member. 

    Overseas Life Certificate eligible witnesses 

    Explanation on what the Life Certificate is (for witnesses) in:

    French (pdf) 

    Spanish (pdf) 

    Polish (pdf) 

    If you cannot find a suitable witness you can call in at our Bradford or Lincoln offices with photo identification.(e.g. passport, driving licence etc).
  • Q4. Do I have to fill this in?
  • A4. Yes. The decision to issue Life Certificates is a WYPF policy. We do not think it is unreasonable to ask someone to complete a Life Certificate. The majority of our pensioners have to complete one once every 7 years. But some pensioners received one on a more frequent basis. A number of other pension funds issue Life Certificates and it is seen as best practice by our Audit Section. Even the DWP issue Life Certificates to certain pensioners receiving State Pension. 

  • Q5. If I don’t complete this what will happen?
  • A5.You will get a reminder Life Certificate, and if this is still not returned it will be followed by a letter stating that your pension has been suspended from a certain date. Please note that it is around 6 months from the issue of the first Life Certificate before your pension would be suspended. And this is only as a last resort. 

  • Q6. Why have I received multiple Life Certificates?
  • A6.You will receive a Life Certificate for each pension record you have with us (even if you receive one payment covering all of your pension records) . You will need to return any with a YELLOW note on the front. If none of them have a YELLOW note on, you only need to get one of these fully completed, BUT PLEASE SEND ALL THE LIFE CERTIFICATES BACK. 

  • Q7. Why is my member number different?
  • A7. You may notice that the reference number on the Life Certificate is different to the number on your payslip or P60. This is nothing to worry about it’s just that we hold 2 different reference numbers for you, one for administration and one for payroll. 

  • Q8. Is the return address correct? It doesn’t look real
  • A8. Yes, the address of Freepost WYPF is correct. We arranged this short, unique address with Royal Mail, just for the return of Life Certificates. You do not need a stamp, Town or Postcode on your envelope, just Freepost WYPF. 

  • Q9. What if I become physically or mentally incapable of looking after my own affairs, or if a relative who’s getting a WYPF pension becomes incapable of looking after their own affairs?
  • A9. If you’re concerned about this you can contact us and we’ll help you decide what to do next.