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What happens after a member has died?

We appreciate this may be a difficult time for any family that the member has left behind. We aim to make it as easy as possible for the right person or people to claim the member’s pension pot.

Whether you’re the next of kin, beneficiary or legal representative, you can follow our three-step bereavement claims process to get the member’s pot paid out to their beneficiary. It starts by calling us on 0300 020 0090.

This video gives you an overview of how to claim a member’s pension pot once they’ve passed away.

Our three-step bereavement claims process

You can find details of our three-step process below. For further information on tax, using a solicitor, and answers to frequently asked questions, please read our guide What to do when someone dies.

The first step is to let us know. The best way to do this is by calling 0300 020 0090, where we’ll start the claim. If needed, we’ll connect you to our dedicated bereavement team.

The more information you can give us at this point, the quicker we’ll be able to process your claim.

At a minimum, we’ll need to know:

  • the Nest ID (if available) or National Insurance number for the member
  • the full name of the member
  • the date of death
  • your name, your relationship to the member and your contact details
  • the name and contact details of the member’s dependants, next of kin or the person dealing with their affairs

You’ll need to send us documents so we can make sure the member’s pot is paid out to the right person. We’ll confirm exactly what’s needed when you tell us about the bereavement. 

Send the death certificate

Like most organisations, we’ll ask to see the original death certificate to process a bereavement claim.

Send other documents

You may need to send additional documents along with the death certificate before we can settle the claim.

We’ll tell you exactly what to send and whether it needs to be the original document or a certified copy.

This could include:

  • Proof of your identity: Passport, birth certificate, driving licence
  • Proof of your relationship to the member: Marriage certificate, birth certificate
  • Proof of who we should be dealing with: The member’s will, grant of probate, a letter of administration, a letter of authority, power of attorney

If you don’t want to send us original proof of identification, you can get your documents certified by a member of one of the professions accepted by Nest.

We can't accept copies of birth certificates, marriage certificates, death certificates or civil partnership certificates, these must be the original copy issued by the registrar.

Please see What evidence do I need to provide to take my money out of Nest? for more information.

Where do I send the documents?

If you’re sending original documents, we recommend you send these via recorded delivery to:

Nene hall
Lynch Wood Business Park

We aim to return all physical documents to you within five working days in the same way they’ve been sent. So if you’ve posted them to us by recorded delivery, that's how they'll be returned.

If you’re sending electronic copies, please email them to

Once we have all the information needed, we’ll check that all documents are correct and valid.

Once these checks have been completed, we’ll contact the beneficiary, beneficiaries or executor to let them know the total amount that’ll be paid out and to ask for bank details. You’ll need to fill out a ‘Payment instruction form’ so we know where to pay the claim to. 

We’ll usually pay the claim out in full by bank transfer, directly into the beneficiary’s bank account. We aim to make the payment within 20-30 days of receiving all the information we need.

If we receive incorrect information or if the evidence doesn’t pass our checks, we’ll get in touch with the beneficiary, next of kin or person who is dealing with the member’s affairs to ask for more information.

Other questions about your claim

Claims are usually settled within 20-30 days of us receiving all the information needed. However, each case is different. There are lots of things that could impact timings, like having several possible beneficiaries, how big the pension pot is, whether the member had multiple accounts with us, and whether or not the member had previously told us who should inherit their pot.

It also depends on when we receive all the information and proof that’s needed to process the claim.

We’ll usually send a letter to each beneficiary confirming the final amount that has been paid to them and any tax that’s been deducted. If we’ve only been dealing with the executor of the member’s affairs, we may send this letter to the executor rather than all beneficiaries.

The best way to get an update on your claim is by calling 0300 020 0090.

If we haven’t been able to pay out the pension pot within two years of being told of the member’s death, or if the member was aged 75 or above at the time of their death, the amount paid out will be subject to tax.

If you haven’t completed your claim within six years of the member’s death, you may have lost the right to claim their pension pot. However, you should still get in touch with us so we can look into your case.

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