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Pension savers urged to review death benefits after court judgement

08/02/2017

If you are covering today’s  Supreme Court judgement on the application by Denise Brewster for Judicial Review, please see the below commentary from Old Mutual Wealth pension expert, Jon Greer.

A summary of the judgement can be found on the Supreme Court website here.

Old Mutual Wealth pension expert, Jon Greer:

Jon Greer

“For individuals that hold a defined benefit pension, the message is clearly that they should not make any assumption about who will inherit the pension if they pass away. Always check the scheme provisions, as there will be qualifying conditions that apply to survivors pensions particularly for co-habiting partners.  While it is fairly standard for a spouse to benefit automatically on the member’s death, other family members may not and could be left short-changed if they work on the assumption that they will receive benefits. There are lots of example where this could be damaging, not only in a financial sense, but also to the relationships between surviving family members.  

“And the same rule of thumb applies to DC members too. Never assume your pension will naturally pass to the most obvious person from your point of view. Often the recipient of the death benefit will be at the discretion of the Scheme. It is imperative that you make your wishes known by completing an expression of wish. Failing to nominate your preferred beneficiary can lead to discord after your death and mean extra hassle and possibly unnecessary tax for family members.

“Following this judgement Trustees may be prompted to review their eligibility requirements for survivor’s pensions. However, ordinarily where a scheme offers a survivor’s pension to someone who is not a spouse or civil partner the death grant is given at the absolute discretion of the Trustees whether or not a nomination had been made by the member. Prompted by this case Local Government Pension Schemes in England, Wales and Scotland have removed the equivalent nomination requirement from April 2014.”

For more information contact

Michael GlenisterOld Mutual Wealth020 7778 963807469 144535michael.glenister@omwealth.com

Notes to editors:

Quilter is a leading wealth management business in the UK and internationally, helping to create prosperity for the generations of today and tomorrow.

On a ‘go forward basis’, Quilter oversees £ 111.6 billion in customer investments (as at 31 March 2018).

It has an adviser and customer offering spanning: financial advice; investment platforms; multi-asset and single strategy investment solutions; and discretionary fund management.

The business is comprised of two segments: Wealth Platforms and Advice and Wealth Management.

Wealth Platforms includes the Old Mutual Wealth UK Platform; Old Mutual International, including AAM Advisory in Singapore; and the Old Mutual Wealth Heritage life assurance business.

Advice and Wealth Management encompasses the financial planning network, Intrinsic; Old Mutual Wealth Private Client Advisers; discretionary fund management business, Quilter Cheviot; and Old Mutual Wealth’s multi-asset investment solutions business.

The Quilter businesses will be re-branded to Quilter over a period of approximately two years following separation from Old Mutual:

  • Intrinsic to Quilter Financial Planning
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  • The UK Platform to Quilter Wealth Solutions
  • The International business to become Quilter International
  • The Heritage life assurance business to Quilter Life Assurance
  • Quilter Cheviot will retain its name.

On 19 December 2017, Old Mutual Wealth announced that it has agreed to sell its Single Strategy asset management business to the Single Strategy Management team and funds managed by TA Associates. The proposed transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approvals. 

Quilter is part of Old Mutual plc, a FTSE 100 group that provides investment, savings, insurance and banking. For the year ended 31 December 2017, Old Mutual reported an adjusted operating profit before tax of £2.0 billion. For further information on Old Mutual plc and the underlying businesses, please visit the corporate website at www.oldmutualplc.com.

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