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Pension Death Nomination Form

The Challenge

Radically increase the number of people who have completed a pension death nomination form

90%+ have now completed their death nomination form

100% of employee now have it as a check-listed joining activity


This case study looks closely at a much over-looked areas of pension planning - completion of a death nomination form by each employee. We had identified this a few years back in our normal pension governance meetings and are now working tirelessly to address it. In this case study, based in the Aberdeen oil and gas sector, there had been much recent pension noise. A merger, the launch of a new pension and savings vehicle, auto enrollment, establishing a new governance committee and so on.

The problem - It is an emotional and trying time for families to manage the affairs of a love one after his/her death. It is even more painful if death nominations for pensions are not up to date in terms of administration and especially time - remembering that in most DC cases, the fund is paid out as a lump sum to the nominated recipients. The distress caused, where a death nomination form has not been completed, is genuine.

Case study - In the first governance meeting, the issues was exposed. Of 500 employees, only 5 had completed a death nomination form. The question the client asked was "why?"

The answers were many:

  1. So much pension paperwork was sent to members, the paper forms got lost or ignored
  2. There was no online option
  3. There was lots of other pension related noise
  4. The employer had no visibility of progress
  5. The members assumed that the "expression of wish" form they had all completed for the group life assurance was the same thing (and for the record, it is NOT)

Our client was horrified, given that their sector is all about safety and care.

What we did:

  1. We badgered the supplier about the need for an online form (slowly, they are all getting there now)
  2. We deployed some communications internally, working closely with the HR and reward teams
  3. We asked for weekly updates from the provider (harder than it should have been, but they delivered in the end)
  4. We encouraged the HR team to desk-side EVERYONE not on the list
  5. We helped the employer develop a new joiner process that has this as a check-listed item

Results - simply stunning. 90%+ now have completed a form. The client is 90% happy only though and we continue to strive for 100%. All new staff are made aware of the death nominations form requirements.

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