What to do if someone with an Utmost annuity or pension dies

For Annuities and Income Drawdown

If someone we are paying a regular income to has died, then it’s really important that you let us know quickly.

This will allow us to stop payments that may otherwise need to be reclaimed, and to commence paying money due to the estate or to a surviving spouse, civil partner or other beneficiary, as soon as possible.

Heritage Equitable Life customers

We will require the final death certificate before we can pay any death benefits from the policy or annuity.

For Income Drawdown policies we may need information on the potential beneficiaries. We will do this by asking you to complete a Family Information Form.

Family Information Form

If you prefer, you can find our contact details below and we will send you the form.

Customers already with Utmost before January 2020

Please contact us on 0330 159 1530 - if there are further payments due then we may need to ask you to provide us with further information.

Pensions not yet in payment

Benefit payable

Most pensions pay a lump sum benefit on death. However this is not always the case; some older pension arrangements may not pay a death benefit. We will let you know what benefits are payable.

Who will we pay the benefit to?

This will usually depends on the type of pension, and the two most common types are shown below:

Section 226 pension where the benefit forms part of the estate on death

Individual pension plans which started before 1 July 1988 are generally Section 226 pension plans. Some policyholders will know these as Retirement Annuitys.

The benefit amount forms part of the estate of the deceased unless the policy has been placed under Trust. The benefit is then distributed by the trustees in line with the Trust.

Personal Pension Plan where the benefit is payable under discretionary trust

Personal Pension plans generally started from 1 July 1988 onwards.

The benefit amount will be paid under a Personal Pension Plan discretionary trust, which allows the death benefit to be paid outside of the policyholder's estate for Inheritance Tax purposes.

As trustees Utmost Life and Pensions will need to consider any person or persons already nominated by the deceased (if such a nomination was made) to receive the payment on death, before we make payment. We may also require other details about the estate of the deceased. Utmost Life and Pensions as trustees will decide who to pay.

Will there be any tax due on the payment?

If the policyholder was aged 75 or over any lump sum or pension income payable will be subject to Income Tax. The tax that HMRC rules require us to deduct may be more or less than the beneficiary may owe. It will be their responsibility to contact HMRC to obtain a refund, or pay any additional tax due.

It’s also possible that there may be tax due on the payment if the deceased exceeded the HMRC Lifetime Allowance limit. You will find details of this limit on www. gov.uk. The estate will be responsible for identifying if this tax is due. If you are a beneficiary who has received a pension lump sum payment you should advise the executors of the deceased's estate.