What benefits will my family get if I die after I have retired?

If you buy an annuity, the answer to this question depends on what choices you have made. You can choose to buy either a 'single life annuity', which will provide a pension only until your death, or a 'joint life annuity' which will provide a pension for your spouse or partner after your death.

If you decide (and can afford) to buy a joint life annuity, you will need to decide whether it will pay out a pension that is the same amount as you were getting, or a smaller amount, e.g. half of yours. The problem is that the better the pension you want to provide for your spouse/partner, the smaller your own pension will be, as all the cost has to come out of your pension pot.

You can also decide whether you want a 'guarantee period' – usually five or 10 years. If you were to die during this period, the balance of your pension due during that period would be paid out as a lump sum.

Note: This content is provided as general background information and should not be taken as legal advice or financial advice for your particular situation. Make sure to get individual advice on your case from your union, a source on our free help page or an independent financial advisor before taking any action.