Expression of wishes forms and why they matter

Author: Proposito Team
Published: 21st August 2020

We specialise in supporting you with your retirement planning, inevitably this means focusing on your pensions.

Most of you will already have pensions (perhaps several) and one thing we always check is whether you have completed an ‘expression of wish’ form.

As you may know, an expression of wishes form is completed by you, the scheme member. It nominates the person(s) you would like to benefit when you die. It’s not binding on the trustee or scheme administrator, but they would take your wishes into consideration. Without one there will be no guidance as to whom you would like to benefit.

Most of you will already have an ‘expression of wish’ form in place as this would have been checked by us prior to your annual review refine, but the important part for you is making sure that this is updated continues to be in line with your wishes. Here are our top tips to follow for an expression of wish form:

  • Review the form regularly. Your circumstances change over time, sometimes significantly. For example, someone may divorce and remarry and might wish to nominate their children or their new spouse.
  • Keep it simple. It is not uncommon for expression of wishes forms to cater for many scenarios. Far better to keep one simple scenario and then update the form if necessary.
  • Ensure your expression of wishes form allows for a pension to be taken as well as a lump sum. If it only caters for a lump sum, this may have inheritance tax implications.
  • Include alternative nominees. For example, if your nominee predeceases you, or prefers not to take up all or part of the benefit, then there is an alternative.

Finally, as some of you may have several pensions, particularly if you have worked in a number of places, it is essential to have an expression of wishes form for each. However, it is not necessary to nominate the same person for each.

If you feel that there have been significant changes to your life that we are not aware of, and you would like to review your expression of wish form, please do get in touch with us and we would be happy to discuss this with you and send out a new form if necessary. Otherwise this can be discussed at your next annual refine meeting.