What happens to my police pension if .......
We recently had a query from our good friend, retired Inspector Mike Burke, now residing in the Jersey Islands, enquiring about what happens to his Bermuda Police pension in the event of his death before his wife. He wanted to know if his wife automatically receives a portion of his police pension, and if so, what needs to be done to arrange for the benefits to continue.
Mike added that he doesn’t have any papers regarding his pension which is also of concern to him.
I believe that many of our police pensioners share the same concerns as Mike whether or not you still reside in Bermuda or you now live abroad, and you probably don’t have documents to say you are entitled to your pension, except for the fact that you still receive it every month!
The following is intended as a guide to all of our members, locally and abroad, and I would like to thank Denina Thomas, at the BPS Human Resources Department, for providing most of this information.
At the end of this summary you will find a copy of Section 8.6 of the PENSION HANDBOOK FOR GOVERNMENT OF BERMUDA EMPLOYEES which outlines the entitlements of dependents when a pensioner dies. We understand that the following applies:-
- On the death of a police pensioner, a widow or widower would be entitled to 60% of such pension until re-marriage or death if there are no children. (this mention of children means “dependent children” and does not affect the 60% entitlement if your children are grown up and have flown the nest!
- A death certificate should be forwarded once received, however, it is helpful to note that one should not wait to make contact with the Accountant General’s Department until after the certificate is received as this will hold up the process.
- If the pension is paid into a local bank account, the process in its entirety can take approximately 1-2 months before payments are received. Alternatively, if pensions are paid into a UK account, the Accountant General’s Department will contact Crown Agents (UK based) and the progression generally takes a little longer – usually 3 months.
- Pension payments will commence as of the day after the death of the pensioner; despite the time taken to process, funds will be back paid from that identified date.
8.6 Death of a pensioner
When a former employee who is in receipt of a pension dies, a pension is payable to the dependents.
A widow or widower would be entitled to 60% of such pension until re-marriage or death if there are no children.
If there are dependent children with no widow or widower they would be entitled to share 60% of the pension (unless there is only one child, in which case he would receive 40% of the pension to which the deceased employee would have been entitled.)
A widow or widower would be entitled to one-half of such pension until re-marriage or death, and any dependent children would be entitled to share the other half of the pension.
If there is no widow or widower or no children and the deceased has received his pension for a period of less than five years, his designated beneficiary shall receive the pension for the reminder of the five years.
If there is no widow or widower or no children and the deceased death occurred before his pension is due to commence, his designated beneficiary shall receive a lump sum payment equal to the greater of:
a) The deceased’s contributions plus interest earned; or
b) The actuarial equivalent of the value of the pension at the time of the deceased’s death.
Where there is no designated beneficiary appointed, or where such beneficiary predeceases the deceased the benefit will be paid to the estate of the deceased.