Registered life assurance arrangements
Produced in partnership with Wyn Derbyshire of gunnercooke LLP

The following Pensions practice note produced in partnership with Wyn Derbyshire of gunnercooke LLP provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Registered life assurance arrangements
  • Can life assurance arrangements constitute occupational pension schemes?
  • Before 22 September 2005
  • From 22 September 2005
  • Meaning of 'retirement benefit activities'
  • Exemptions from the 'retirement benefit activities' limitation
  • Impact of section 255 on life assurance arrangements
  • Penalties
  • The Pensions Regulator’s guidance on lump sum death benefits
  • Scenario 1—Employees awaiting membership of schemes
  • More...

Registered life assurance arrangements

Employers frequently provide death benefits (also known as 'life assurance' or 'life cover' benefits) such as salary-related lump sums and survivors' pensions for their workforce by one of two methods:

  1. by means of a registered pension scheme (typically an occupational pension scheme) under which the death benefits form part of the wider benefit structure of the scheme. In this type of arrangement, a scheme member may receive:

    1. both death benefits and retirement benefits, or

    2. death benefits only (such a member is referred to in this Practice Note as a 'life cover only member')

  2. by means of a standalone trust-based arrangement which, although a registered pension scheme for the purposes of Part 4 of the Finance Act 2004 (FA 2004) provides only death benefits (and possibly only in lump sum form)—such schemes are commonly referred to as ‘life cover only schemes’, 'death-in-service schemes' or ‘standalone life assurance schemes’. For more information on such schemes, see Characteristics of standalone life assurance schemes below

This Practice Note explores these two methods of providing death benefits.

Note that an alternative way of providing death benefits is by securing insurance policies that are not registered under the FA 2004, Pt 4. Such insurance policies are known as relevant life policies and excepted group life policies. For more information, see Practice Note: Life policies—an introduction and Relevant life and

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