The member concerned had a full career in the Ministry of Defence and had retired after nearly 40 years’ service with a Classic final salary pension benefit.
However, after a number of years, he returned to work on a part-time basis at the request of his line manager and eventually joined the new, career average civil service pension scheme.
Unfortunately the member fell ill with an occupational illness and he died in 2016.
Sharon Brown, the negotiator covering the branch, subsequently got involved: “After the member died, his family was told that a death-in-service lump sum was not payable from the career average scheme because he had previously drawn a Classic pension.
“We referred the case to Prospect’s pension team and they disagreed with this interpretation of the rules and raised the issue with the Cabinet Office.
“Subsequently the Cabinet Office got back in touch to say the scheme administrator had given the wrong information and that a lump sum death benefit would be paid as a matter of urgency.”
The rep who brought the case to Prospect on behalf of his family said: “Without Prospect’s knowledge of the scheme and subsequent questions to the Cabinet Office the family would almost certainly not have achieved the correct and fair outcome”.