Need help managing your financial matters?

It’s very important to make sure your pension can be safely managed on your behalf in the event that you become unable to manage it yourself. You can do so by appointing a Legal Power of Attorney to make decisions on your behalf – that way someone you trust will be in charge of your financial matters.

There are different types of Power of Attorney which cover different types of circumstances. The Scheme can only accept powers of attorney that cover finances and property.

Lasting Power of Attorney

This covers decisions about your financial affairs or your health and care. If you can’t make decisions for yourself any more, then the Pensions Office will only be able to take instructions from another person on your behalf if they have a Lasting Power of Attorney. If you are married or in a civil partnership, you shouldn’t assume your spouse will automatically be able to deal with your pension if you lose the ability to do so. The same applies in relation to other relatives, such as your children. Without a Lasting Power of Attorney, they don’t have the automatic authority to manage your affairs if you are unable to so do.

If you want to set up a Lasting Power of Attorney, you must do this while you are still able to make decisions for yourself.

You can use the online service at Lastingpowerofattorney.service.gov.uk/home or download the forms from https://www.gov.uk/power-of-attorney/make-lasting-power.

Power of Attorney may need to be registered

Type Registration
A Lasting Power of Attorney if you live in England or Wales Must be registered
A 'continuing' power of attorney if you live in Scotland Can be unregistered only if it was created and signed before 1 April 2001
An 'enduring' power of attorney if you live in Northern Ireland Must be registered once the person who created the power becomes or is becoming mentally incapable

If you have the type of Power of Attorney that needs to be registered, then you’ll need to make sure it’s registered before we can accept it.

Although a general or ordinary power of attorney doesn’t need to be registered it is not appropriate for circumstances when a member is not able to take decisions because of ill-health or mental capacity.

Sending the full Power of Attorney documents to the Pensions Office

When someone is acting on a member’s behalf they need to send us every page of either the original document or a certified paper copy so we can check that the power of attorney is the right kind, has a witness signature and is registered, if it needs to be.

We need to check the details of the attorney and the details of the member who has granted the power of attorney. This includes identity checks. If there are other attorneys, we may need to check their details too. These checks are an important part of protecting our members.

Until we verify the power of attorney document and the identity of the attorney, they can't make any changes to, for example, the member’s bank details.

If you're sending us a copy it needs to be certified

If you would prefer to send us a copy of the power of attorney, instead of the original, it must be certified in a particular way. A UK solicitor or notary public can certify it. They may charge you for this.

Every page needs to have:

  • The words: “I certify this to be a true and complete copy of the [type] power of attorney”. So, if it was a copy of a lasting power of attorney, you’d write: “I certify this to be a true and complete copy of the lasting power of attorney”. It can be either written or stamped
  • The name of the person certifying the copy
  • The signature of the person certifying the copy
  • The date when the document was certified.

If a member doesn’t have Power of Attorney get a court order

In these circumstances the court will need to decide who will look after the member’s affairs. It takes the form of a court order:

  • In England and Wales, it's a Deputy’s Order or an Interim Order from the Court of Protection
  • In Scotland, this could be either a Guardianship Order or an Intervention
  • In Northern Ireland, this is known as a Controller Order

Applications to the Pensions Office to manage a member’s pension arrangements

An attorney needs to:

1. Complete an “Application to act as a Third Party” form.

2. Return the completed form to the Pensions Office together with the power of attorney documentation and proof of identity.

The Trustee recognises that there are sometimes circumstances where members may not have power of attorney documentation or a court order. In these circumstances please complete the "Application to act as a Third Party” form, above, and return it to the Pensions Office for consideration.

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