Reinsurer says certain death benefits are overlooked

Reinsurer RGA says consumers might be missing out on a set of benefits they are entitled to while they are claiming under a life policy following the death of their partner.

RGA says many individuals claiming under life policies may also be entitled to bereavement benefits, which can ease financial strains in the early days following the death of their husband, wife or civil partner.

The benefits include a tax-free lump-sum payment of £2,000, which is not means tested and is paid soon after the death of a person’s spouse or civil partner. Claimants could also receive a taxable weekly income for up to a year after their partner dies.

RGA UK claims manager Simon Grant says these benefits are sometimes overlooked by advisers.

He says: “We are concerned that these benefits are often overlooked by both consumers and advisers. If your husband, wife or civil partner has died you may be able to get bereavement payment, a one-off, lump-sum payment of £2,000 that is tax-free.

“There are certain age limits and eligibility criteria, but these benefits are not means tested and the State claim to be able to make payments promptly to those who are entitled.”

Plan Money director Peter Chadborn says: “It is quite possible that only those who have personal experience or have assisted clients specifically in this area are aware of the benefits available. However, with a £2,000 lump sum plus an income potentially available, everyone who loses a spouse should check if they qualify.”