My son died after taking drugs. Will his company pension scheme pay out?

Angela Murfitt
19 September 2016


My son died recently. He was single with no family and I am his next of kin.

His death was drug related. Will this negate any pay out in regards to the company pension he was enrolled in?



While some employers may place restrictions on the benefits they provide in so far as when a claim would be met, this would be unusual.

A death grant from a pension scheme will be paid on the death of an employee regardless of how that death occurs, providing the employee was still employed by the employer and an active member of the scheme at the time of death.

It would be common practice for your son to have made a ‘nomination’ when he initially joined the pension scheme. This advises the Trustees on who should benefit in the event of his premature death and while Trustees are not obligated to follow this nomination, it would be quite unusual for them to ignore this in circumstances where there are no immediate dependants.


If your son has not made a nomination, then the Trustees would usually follow the rules of intestacy, which mean as a surviving parent in these circumstances you would most likely be granted the payment.

As death-in-service payments from pension arrangements are made at the discretion of the Trustees any payment should be free of tax.