Shepherd and Wedderburn

UK 200 2014 position: 68

Trustees’ decision set aside in death benefits case

The Deputy Pensions Ombudsman has set aside a trustees’ decision in a death benefits case because the trustees failed to ask the correct questions, misinterpreted the scheme rules, took into account irrelevant factors and did not undertake reasonable enquiries before reaching their decision. The case serves as a useful reminder to trustees on how to exercise their discretionary powers and the importance of proper process.

Mr Jackett was a deferred member of the pension scheme who died leaving behind two children and a partner, Miss Siegfried, with whom he had co-habited for a number of years but had never married. At the time of Mr Jackett’s death, he and Miss Siegfried were living apart.

The scheme rules provided for payment of a spouse’s pension to anyone married to the member on his death. If there was no spouse, the trustees had discretion to instead pay a dependant’s pension to one or more financial dependants. If no spouse’s or dependant’s pension was payable, a refund of contributions was payable to one or more beneficiaries, selected at the trustees’ discretion from among the categories of person listed in the scheme rules. This included spouse, siblings, financial dependants and persons notified to the trustees by the member to be considered as a recipient of death benefits…

Click on the link below to read the rest of the Shepherd and Wedderburn briefing.

Sign in or Register to continue reading this article

Sign in


It's quick, easy and free!

It takes just 5 minutes to register. Answer a few simple questions and once completed you’ll have instant access.

Register now

Why register to The Lawyer


Industry insight

In-depth, expert analysis into the stories behind the headlines from our leading team of journalists.


Market intelligence

Identify the major players and business opportunities within a particular region through our series of free, special reports.


Email newsletters

Receive your pick of The Lawyer's daily and weekly email newsletters, tailored by practice area, region and job function.

More relevant to you

To continue providing the best analysis, insight and news across the legal market we are collecting some information about who you are, what you do and where you work to improve The Lawyer and make it more relevant to you.

Briefings from Shepherd and Wedderburn

View more briefings from Shepherd and Wedderburn

Analysis from The Lawyer


1 Exchange Crescent
Conference Square

Turnover (£m): 38.30
No. of lawyers: 169