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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
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Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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Can the sole trustee of a pension fund withold funds if the

Customer Question

Can the sole trustee of a pension fund withold funds if the beneficiary needs the money for care. The beneficiary has dementia and his finances are controlled by a POA. The trustee refuses to release the pension fund to help with care
Submitted: 7 months ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Clare replied 7 months ago.
HIThank you for your questionMy name is ***** ***** do my best to help you but I need some further information firstCould you explain a little more about the actual Pension Fund please
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Well it seems to be a pension that is held for 1 beneficiary. The trustee...his ex wife...upon his death would receive all the monies in this fund. The fund holds about 250,000GBP. He has a property which is being sold and she is stating that these funds from the sale be used for his care. My problem is what gives the trustee the right to say which asset is used first for his care. It seems that she is withholding for her own care. She states that she will release 3000 GBP a month until the money for the house is in the bank. Surely she does not have the right to dictate.....?
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
*her own gain
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
It's a retirement benefits scheme
Expert:  Clare replied 7 months ago.
How was the fund created?
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
This i don't know.
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
I do know that this is not a trustee investing assets of a scheme of which they are a member for the benefit of the whole. This is a trustee seeking to restrict a members pension because they believe they personally can have what is left following the members death. The person has no benefits in the scheme in their own name.
I struggle to find a single person that would deny a dying man full access to his pension fund care home fees as reasonable.
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
I know that this is not a trustee investing the assets of a scheme of which they are a member for the benefit of the whole. This is a trustee seeking to restrict a members pension because they believe they personally can have what is left following the members death. The trustee has no benefits in the scheme in their own name. I am struggling to think of a single person that would consider denying a dying man full acess to his pension to fund care home fees as reasonable.
Expert:  Clare replied 7 months ago.
For clarity then this is a Private Pension Fund set up by a partnership or a small company?
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Yes,I think that would be correct
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
sorry...small company
Expert:  Clare replied 7 months ago.
Just the two of them?What does the Pension Policy say about payments?
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Just the 2 of them and I don't know exactly what the policy says about payments; all I know is that the money belongs to the beneficiary and nobody else...
Expert:  Clare replied 7 months ago.
Have you asked for a copy of the Scheme paperwork?

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