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Clare
Clare, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 33316
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practice since 1985 with a wide general experience.
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In my divorce court order I was to be nominated for half my

Customer Question

In my divorce court order I was to be nominated for half my ex husband's pension if he died before me. He filled in the nomination form. He died at age 68 having retired at 62. The pension had been paid since 1971. The fund refused to award me the nomination because of a limitation if the person dies after five years of retirement. The nomination was in lieu of a monthly maintenance I was awarded. Is there anything I can do. I have only an annual income now of £7000.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
Thank you for your question.
My name is Clare and I will do my best to help you but I need some further information first.
When was the Order made and what has happened to the pension?
Clare
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you for your attention.


The divorce petition was at the Brighton County Court 1995.


The section relating to the nomination reads:


'AND UPON the Petitoner undertaking forthwith to sign an irrecocable instruction to the Trustees of the University Superannuation Scheme to grant the Respondant an entitlement to 50% of the death benefit accruing under that Scheme'


 


My ex husband also nominated our two children for the other 50% but they were over 18 years when he died.


I asked the USS administrator what happens to the money we had paid all those years and she said ' it stays in the fund and benefits others......'


Sincerely Fran


 

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
What is the wording of the Pension Restriction?
Clare
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hello. The wording refers to nominating a beneficary as 'at the Trustee Company's discretion' this is for either a pension share or a lump sum. When USS refused to allow me a share of the pension my solicitor applied for a lump sum which was also refused.


There are the notes in 'A guide to members Jan 1992' USS . On the actual nomination form it adds 'within five years of retirement'


 


There were many comments from USS about the fact that I was awarded the family home which is nothing to do with them or the pension fund which we paid into. Nor were they aware of the full details of our lives etc.


Thank you. Sincerely Fran

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
What is the relevance of the "five years" - what is the difference after five years
Clare
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Relevance of Five Years. From date of retirement. I don't know why it is like this. The difference after 5 years seems to be that there is no chance of receiving any part of the pension. Even during the five years it is discretionary. Robert retired at 62 and died at 68.
Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
Have they actually sent you a copy of the rules?
Clare
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Hello I only saw the guide lines for 1992 when my daughter gave them to me on sorting out her father's papers following his death. Likewise the nomination form which was attached to his will. I was supposed to have a copy of the latter but never had one. The divorce was protracted and so horrible with so many papers.
Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
It is for the Pension Fund to send you a copy of the rules backing up their position on the nomination.
However the simple fact is that the Court Order bound your ex and not the Pension Fund so your fight has to be with them on the basis that they are not exercising their discretion in an appropriate way
There should be a formal appeals process which you need to invoke
I am sorry that I cannot be more positive
Clare

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