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What to do after
a member dies

Illustration of man and woman standing together

Coping with bereavement is incredibly hard. That's why we'll do our best to make your claims process as quick and simple as we can.

Bereavement process

What happens after a member has died?

Whether you're the next of kin, beneficiary or legal representative, we want to make sure you know what to do when a member dies with our downloadable three-step guide on claiming a deceased member's pension pot. You can also find more information in our member help centre.

Three-step guide


Tell us about the bereavement

Contact Nest: The quickest way of getting the right information to us is by calling 0300 020 0090.

We'll need to know:

  • the deceased's Nest ID if known, or National Insurance number if it's not
  • the full name of the deceased
  • the date of death
  • your name, relationship to the deceased and contact details
  • information about the next of kin, dependents or person dealing with their affairs

Send us documents

Once you’ve called and given us some details, we’ll be able to tell you exactly what documents you need to send and whether they need to be originals or certified copies.

You might be asked to send:

  • the original death certificate
  • proof of identity
  • proof of your relationship to the member

Once we’ve run our checks, we may need evidence proving that the claim is being paid to the right person. We'll let you know exactly what’s needed.

You’ll need to email digital documents to

You’ll need to post any physical documents to:
Nest, Nene hall, Lynch Wood Business Park, Peterborough, PE2 6FY

We aim to return any physical documents to you within five working days.


Give us your payment details

Once we have all the information we need, we’ll run some checks and make sure we’re paying the claim out to the right people or the right organisation.

The pot will be paid directly into the beneficiary, beneficiaries or executor’s bank account, so we’ll need your bank details. 

Claims are usually paid out within 20-30 days of us receiving all the information we need. However, complex claims may take longer.
In some cases, you may even need to apply for grant of probate to deal with the member’s affairs. This can take 8 weeks or longer.

Nest pensions and bereavement

Our goal is to make this process as simple as possible for you. Our guide gives you more information and a full breakdown of the three-step process.

Things you may need to know

What is grant of probate or letter of adminstration?

A grant of probate is an official document giving a named representative the legal right to deal with someone’s property, money and possessions when they die. In a nutshell, it makes you the executor of the deceased’s affairs – not just with their Nest pension pot, but their entire estate.

You may need to get a grant of probate for the claim to be settled, if the pension pot is above a certain threshold and the member hadn’t named a beneficiary or left an expression of wish.

It helps make sure the pot goes to the right people, and can be an important part of preventing pension scams.

We'll let you know if it’s needed.

You have to pay a fee to apply for grant of probate, and the amount paid depends on the value of the estate. You can apply for probate yourself at
You can also hire a solicitor to help you with the process for an additional cost.

Please note that if you or anyone else has already applied for grant of probate, we can only pay the pension pot out to whoever holds it.

A letter of administration is similar, but is issued when the deceased dies without a valid will. Grants of probate are only given to executors named on the will, while letters of administration are usually applied for by a beneficiary or by the next of kin.

Do I need a solicitor?

If you’d rather ask your solicitor to deal with the claim, that’s absolutely fine. If you’d rather handle it yourself, that’s fine too. Everyone’s circumstances are different, and it’s your call. All we need is a letter of authority giving us permission to deal with the solicitor, if you decide to use one.

If you’d like the claim to be paid out to the solicitor so they can distribute the funds as part of the member’s estate, please include this in your letter of authority. 

How will the money be taxed?

It’s possible that the money in the member’s pension pot may be subject to tax under certain circumstances. In these cases, we’ll calculate and pay the tax for you. You’ll find more information on this in our guide to bereavement claims.

Inheritance tax might also be due on the pot. In this case, you’ll be responsible for paying this yourself. You can find more information at