Lump sums

A lump sum is payable to the person(s) or organisation you have nominated when you die depending on whether you:

  • were still working for an employer who participates in the CSP arrangements;
  • had retired; or
  • had left with preserved benefits but had not yet reached scheme pension age.

This lump sum is separate to the automatic lump sum that is paid when you take your pension.

As well as the death benefit lump sum, your widow, widower, surviving civil partner or partner and dependent children may also receive a pension.

Nominating someone to receive benefits

You can nominate any person(s), including a child, and/or an organisation (such as a bank, a trust, a firm of solicitors or accountants) to receive the death benefit lump sum. The advantage of making a nomination is that we can pay the benefit without delay.

If you do not nominate anyone, we will pay the death benefit lump sum to your personal representative.

You can add or amend your death benefit nomination on the Pension Portal or by completing a death benefit nomination form

Please make sure that you keep your nomination up to date and that you update it if your wishes or circumstances change.

You should be aware that if you nominated your husband, wife or civil partner and the marriage/civil partnership comes to an end through divorce/dissolution (but not separation), it will no longer be valid and you will have to make a new nomination.

If you separate from a partner to whom you were neither married nor in a civil partnership with and you had nominated them as a beneficiary, the nomination will remain valid. You will need to change or cancel your nomination, if you wish to remove the previous nominee.

Please note that at the time of a divorce or dissolution, a court may order that when a scheme member or a previous member dies, all or part of the death benefit must be paid to the ex-husband, ex-wife or ex-civil partner. If only part of the benefit is paid to that person we will pay any balance to your nominee or personal representative.

The Pension Portal and your Annual Benefit Statement (ABS) show your current nominee(s).

What happens if I die in service?

We may pay a sum of three times your pay to the person (or people) you have named. Your annual benefit statement shows your nominated beneficiary.

If you have not nominated anyone or your nomination is invalid (see above), we may pay it to your personal representative.

If you are receiving a Civil Service pension (for example, following partial retirement or re-employment), your death in service lump sum will be lower to take account of the pension and lump sum you have received.

What if I die after I leave the scheme?

If you leave the scheme and then die before receiving your pension, we usually pay the person or people a lump sum of:

  • your preserved (frozen) lump sum plus five times your preserved (frozen) pension; or
  • twice your final pensionable earnings when you left the scheme, whichever is smaller.

If you die within five years of starting to receive your pension, we may pay the person or people you have named a lump sum representing:

  • five years’ pension based on your service before 1 October 2002 less any lump sum paid to you in respect of this service; plus
  • five years’ pension based on your service from 1 October 2002 less any pension you have already received.

If you choose to take the maximum lump sum on retiring, it will impact on this ‘death after retirement’ lump sum. The maximum lump sum will reduce (or possibly cancel out) any potential death benefit lump sum payment.

If you are over age 75 when you die, we will pay any outstanding balance annually, in arrears, to your nominee(s):

  • for any pension based on service before 1 October 2002, until the two- year period has expired; and
  • for any pension based on service on or after 1 October 2002, until the five-year period has expired.

Dependants’ benefits

We pay pension benefits to your widow, widower, surviving civil partner or partner and dependent children when you die depending on whether, at the date of your death, you were:

  • a current member with two or more years’ qualifying service;
  • a retired member;
  • a deferred member with preserved benefits.

Pension benefits for your widow, widower or surviving civil partner

As long as you have been in the scheme for at least two years, we will pay your surviving husband, wife or civil partner a pension based on the years you have paid full pension contributions.

We will work this out in two parts:

  • 1/2 of your pension based on your service before 1 October 2002 for which you have paid contributions*, plus;
  • 3/8 of your pension based on your service from 1 October 2002.

*A pension paid to a surviving civil partner will be based on your service from 6 April 1988.

If you die in service, we may grant some extra years of reckonable service, up to 10 years. The extra years will all count as service from 1 October 2002.

If you die after you have left the scheme, your husband, wife or civil partner will usually get a pension, again worked out in two parts:

  • 1/2 of your pension based on your service before 1 October 2002 for which you have paid contributions*, plus;
  • 3/8 of your pension based on your service from 1 October 2002 and taking the full amount of pension – in other words, before any reduction for using part of your pension to buy a lump sum.

*A pension paid to a surviving civil partner will be based on your service from 6 April 1988.

If you retired with an ill-health pension, and with your reckonable service enhanced through to pension age, we will base the pension for your husband, wife or civil partner on the extra years that we would have given if you had still been in service when you died.

If you have a civil partner, they will receive a pension based on your service from 6 April 1988.

We may increase your husband’s, wife’s or civil partner’s pension every year in line with rises in the cost of living.

Will my husband’s, wife’s or civil partner’s pension carry on if they remarry or enter into another civil partnership?

If your husband, wife or civil partner should remarry, enter into another civil partnership or live with someone as a partner, we will stop paying the part of the pension that is based on your service before 1 October 2002. But if their new relationship comes to an end, we may then restore that part of their pension.

Example

Sandra dies in service, aged 45. She has 20 years’ service in total (10 years before 1 October 2002 and 10 years from 1 October 2002) and final pensionable earnings of £20,000 a year. Sandra leaves a husband, Iain.

We base Iain’s pension on 30 years’ service – that is, Sandra’s 20 years’ service plus an enhancement of an extra 10 years.

Iain’s pension = 3/8 x 1/60 x 20 x £20,000 + 1/2 x 1/80 x 10 x £20,000 = £3,750 a year.

If Iain were to remarry, his pension will be reduced to £2,500 (3/80 x 1/60 x 20 x £20,000).

Example

When Gordon retired he was awarded a pension of £11,000 (£5,000 based on his service before 1 October 2002 and £6,000 based on his service from 1 October 2002) plus an automatic lump sum of £15,000.

Gordon decided to commute (give up) £1,125 of his annual pension so he can have an additional lump sum of £13,500 (subject to the Lifetime Allowance).

When Gordon dies, although his pension was £9,875 a year, his widow gets a pension of £4,750 a year (3/8 x £6,000 + 1/2 x £5,000).

I am not married or in a civil partnership, but I have a partner

If neither you nor your partner is married to, or in a civil partnership with, anyone else, we may pay your partner a pension. We work this pension out in the same way as the pension for a husband, wife or civil partner but it will be based only on your service from 1 October 2002. For more information, see the booklet ‘Pensions for partners’.

Will my children get a pension?

We will pay a pension to your eligible children (and to any other eligible children who rely on you financially) when you die. We pay children’s pensions to children under the age of 18, or up to 23 if they are in full-time education.

We may pay a pension for life to an eligible child who is dependent on you due to a physical or mental impairment; ask the Scheme Administrator (MyCSP) for more information about this.

We work out a child’s pension as 30% of your pension entitlement if we pay a pension to your surviving husband, wife or civil partner, or 50% if you did not leave a surviving husband, wife or civil partner. If we pay a pension to your partner, we will work a child’s pension out as 30% of your pension entitlement based on your service from 1 October 2002 plus 50% of your pension entitlement based on your service before 1 October 2002.

This reflects the fact that your partner’s pension only relates to service from 1 October 2002. If you leave more than two children who qualify for a pension, we will reduce each child’s pension so they each get an equal share.

Published:
15 December 2021
Last updated:
19 April 2022