Forces Pension Society

Fighting for the forces and their families

Nomination Form for Death Benefits – Case Study

February 28, 2017

This is a really, really important item for all those on the AFPS 05 or AFPS 15 schemes. It does not affect those with AFPS 75 entitlements.

In August 2016 Mr H, a serving soldier got married. Two months later, he was killed in a car accident. Between getting married and his death Mr H had changed his will in favour of his wife and, he thought, had done everything necessary to look after her in the event of his death. However, he had not altered the Nomination of Death Benefit form he had filled in before deployment to Iraq 3 years previously, long before his marriage. The result was that someone else, not his wife was eligible to receive his death in service lump sum. MOD stated that it had no discretion in this matter and had to pay out to the nominee.

The story may yet have a happy ending as the original nominee, an ex-soldier, has come forward and disclaimed the lump sum, because he did not feel that the original nomination any longer reflected Mr H’s intent. Furthermore, he also discovered he was in the same position – had made a nomination several years before and had not cancelled it because he no longer realised its significance or that it remained valid. They are not out of the woods yet however, because MOD insists that it still cannot revoke the original nomination, so the nominee must gift it to Mrs H, with potential tax implications for her. FPS is on the case, but this issue affects many others and our own straw poll suggests that most service personnel have no idea that they may be sitting on a ticking time bomb. So if you are serving, with AFPS 05 or 15 entitlements or if you are retired and have AFPS05 or 15 preserved /deferred pension entitlements you MUST check your Nomination Form if you have filled one in, to ensure it reflects your current wishes, either by changing it or revoking it completely. Otherwise the lump sum might go to the wrong person, because the form never, ever lapses, except on divorce.

Here’s a link to the form

We are currently lobbying the Services to sort this out both for the individuals involved and everyone else who might be affected and have made several suggestions to both MOD and the Minister for Defence Veterans, Reserves and Personnel about how this might be done.

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