How do I best best express my wishes?

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I’ve got an expression of wishes form to fill in from my pension scheme. What I would request/want doesn’t fit in the structure of the form. Any suggestions?

Mike Freer replies:

The expression of wishes form is an opportunity for you to provide information about how you would like any lump sum benefits due from the pension scheme to be allocated upon your death. A typical benefit is a lump sum if you die while still in employment. The lump sum is usually between two and four times your annual salary, so it is likely to be a sizeable sum.

The trustees of the pension scheme use this information to guide them. It is important to realise that they have discretion over how the lump sum is distributed, so cannot be bound by your wishes. However, they will follow your wishes, unless there is a good reason not to do so. The payment is not subject to any tax in Jersey. You can ask for it to be divided up between several people. Just list the percentages on the form. Over time your personal circumstances may change and it is important to realise that you can update the form at any time.

Initially you might want all of the lump sum to be paid to your spouse or partner. However, if you have children or grandchildren, you might want to consider if you would like them to receive all or part of it. If you do not have any dependants you might want to consider a close friend or a charity.

Before making any payments, the trustees will need to investigate your family circumstances. They might also wish to look at your will. If you have a complicated or unusual request, you can include a letter with the form providing more information.

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