Considering your pension beneficiaries
Answers to all your questions about nominating beneficiaries.
Why pension beneficiaries are important
Whether you’ve just started saving into your pension or have already retired, it’s important to consider adding a beneficiary to your pension plan.
Your pension savings will hopefully last you for the rest of your life – but adding a beneficiary will mean anything left over will be passed on to a loved one or a worthy cause that’s close to your heart.
To help you get started, we’ve answered some of the most frequently asked questions about pension beneficiaries.
What happens to my pension when I die?
Your pension provider will decide who will inherit any remaining pension savings after you die. If you’ve nominated a pension beneficiary, this will give the provider a clearer idea of who you’d like your money to go to and will help them honour your wishes.
If you’ve bought a guaranteed income (an annuity) with your pension savings, what happens to your savings when you die depends on the type of income you’ve chosen. For example, you could choose a single-life income which will end when you die, or a joint-life income that will continue to pay your partner or spouse after you’re gone.
What is a pension beneficiary?
Put simply, a pension beneficiary is someone who will receive your remaining pension fund when you die.
This can be a person – such as a partner or family member – but can also include organisations such as a registered charity.
Should I nominate a beneficiary?
If you haven’t nominated any beneficiaries, the savings in your pension pot could end up going where you hadn’t planned it to.
By making a beneficiary nomination, you’ll have more control over who you want your money to go to.
Can I update my pension beneficiaries?
You can add or update the number of beneficiaries you have at any time. It’s a good idea to keep your beneficiary details up to date – this will make it easier for your pension provider to find them when the time comes.
If you have more than 1 beneficiary, it’s a good idea to let your pension provider know how you would like your money shared between them. For example, if you have 2 beneficiaries and want each to get half of your pension savings, or you’d like 1 person to receive a quarter and the other to get three quarters.