Death benefits

It’s not a topic most people want to think about, but it’s important to think about what happens when you’re gone.

Your pension stops at the end of the four-week period in which you die. Any overpayment will be balanced against your spouse’s pension or recovered from your estate. 

The following benefits may  be payable to your dependants when you die: 

Lump sum – the amount paid out depends on how much lump sum you took when you started claiming your benefits. If you have received your pension for more than five years, it’s unlikely that any lump sum would be paid. 

Don’t forget to keep your Nomination form up to date to: 

  • help speed up the process of paying the lump sum*, and
  • avoid paying inheritance tax


(*The Management Committee has ultimate responsibility for deciding who receives a lump-sum death benefit).

Spouse’s pension – payable to a spouse, civil partner or same-sex spouse you were living with at the date of your death, and usually worth half your basic pension. Check what your benefits are worth by contacting the Fund's administrator Railpen at or telephone the Helpline on 0800 012 1117. Please quote your Pension Reference Number. This is available when you log into your myFund account.

Dependants’ pension – paid to a person who depended on you financially for two years prior to your death.

Children’s pension at least the two youngest eligible children normally receive pensions until they are 18. If an eligible child continues in full-time education after they ​reach 18, the pension may still be paid up to the age of 23, subject to Committee agreement. If the child is disabled and unable to work, the pension may be payable for life.