What will happen in the event of my death?

The NHS scheme provides benefits to your dependents in the event of your death following retirement. The benefits payable depend on your circumstances at the time of your death and on your service in the scheme.

As with other benefits available from the NHS Superannuation Scheme (Scotland), there are different qualifying conditions or types of benefits available depending on when you joined the scheme. The following separates the two different parts of the scheme for ease of understanding.

1995 Section

A Surviving Widow’s pension amounts to half of your pension that is in payment when you die, although there is an initial short-term pension payable at the full rate for the first three months following death.

A Surviving Widower’s/Civil partner/Nominated partner’s Pension amounts to half of your pension in payment, based on service after 6th April 1988. Any female member’s service prior to this date does not count towards widower’s benefits.

Children’s Pensions are also payable at ¼ of your pension per child if there are one or two children, or ½ shared equally if there are more than two. Children’s pensions are normally only payable until age 23, however, if the child remains unable to earn a living and the condition existed at the time of your death, the children’s pension may continue to be paid indefinitely. 

2008 Section (Members who joined on or after 1st April 2008)

An Adult Dependant’s Pension is 37.5% of your pension in payment. An initial six month short-term pension is payable at the full rate of your pension.

In the 2008 section, children’s pension amount to 18.75% of you pension per child if there are one or two dependant children. If there are more than two children, they will each receive an equal share of 37.5% of your pension

In addition to the above pension entitlements in both sections, if you die within five years of retirement a lump sum payment will also be made. This amounts to five times the pension less the pension already paid.

If you are not married or in a civil partnership you may still be able to nominate a partner you would like to receive benefits. However, this option is only available to pensioners who were active members of the scheme on or after 1st April 2008. To qualify for eligibility, you and your partner must have been in an exclusive long-term committed relationships of at least two years and be either financially dependent or inter-dependent. To nominate a partner to receive a lump sum or pension please download the appropriate forms and submit to SPPA. 

Link to Scottish Government Website