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What is a Beneficiary?

You may have heard the term ‘beneficiary’; or been asked to select one when setting up your workplace pension. What is a beneficiary – and why is it important you choose one?

Category: Insight


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You may have heard the term ‘beneficiary’; or been asked to select one when setting up your workplace pension. If you’re not familiar with pensions, you might not know what exactly what this means. So what is a beneficiary – and why is it important you choose one?

Simply put, a nominated beneficiary is your chosen recipient  who will receive your pensions benefits in the event that you die. It might not be the most pleasant thing to think about, but it’s important that you give this some consideration, even if you are young and have only just started paying into your pension – because you never know what the future might hold.

In normal circumstances, if you were to die the administrator your pension would contact your spouse, civil partner, or children in order to transfer any relevant pension benefits to them. However, it may be that there is a specific person, people or organisations ,  you wish to nominate as your beneficiary in the event of your death – particularly if you are not married or do not have children. This is where nominating a beneficiary comes in.

By nominating a beneficiary, you are effectively letting your pension provider know that, should anything happen to you, it is your wish that your pension benefits go to this specific person, people or organisations. It is for this reason that nominating a beneficiary is also known as an ‘expression of wish’. You can nominate anyone to be your beneficiary, whether they be a family member, friend, or even a charitable organisation.

It's important to note that an expression of wish is not a legally binding document and the administrators of your pension are ultimately responsible for any decisions regarding your pension funds. However, by nominating a beneficiary, and keeping this up to date, you are ensuring that they have all the relevant information available to them in the event of your death.

Once you have made a nomination, it is important to keep this up to date, particularly following any significant life events that may impact this, such as marriage, divorce, the death of a partner or the birth of a child.


How to update my beneficiaries with TPT

If you need to update your personal details you can do this by logging into your Retirement Savings Account for Defined Contribution (DC) members or DB Online for Defined Benefit (DB). If you do not use these facilities you can write in or email us with the change. Please make sure you include your reference number in your correspondence. If you are already receiving a pension from us, please also include your payroll number.

If your current workplace pension is with TPT, you should also advise your employer’s payroll team or HR advisor of the change as soon as possible, as they will need to update the information they provide to us.

We will change your details as notified but if you have changed your name, we need to see the original documentation or a certified certificate to validate the change before any payments can be made. If you choose to send original documentation to us, we will return it by recorded delivery.

Upon marriage and divorce, any previous nominations for death benefits that you may have made are void (unless you married your recorded nominee). We would recommend that you update your nominations by using your online account or sending us an updated nomination form.

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