Teacher’s family miss out on £100,000 pension after Covid death due to law loophole


Nick Stone died at the James Paget Hospital in Great Yarmouth at the beginning of this year after catching Covid while working at the City of Norwich school, his family believe

Nick Stone died from Covid

A family has lost more than £100,000 after a beloved member died of Covid likely caught in the classroom.

Helen Pentelow was devastated when her brother Nick Stone lost his life after a traumatic two week struggle with Covid-19 earlier this year.

As she was grieving alongside other family members including their mum, the engineering business owner received some unwanted news.

The large pension pot Nick had been diligently paying into during his 31 years at the City of Norwich School had disappeared.

Because the 55-year-old was not married or in a civil partnership, the hard earned money was scooped up by Teachers Pensions – despite Nick nominating his mum to be his beneficiary.

Nick had worked at the school for 31 years


Family Handout)

Now Helen, who has estimated that there was between £100,00 to £150,000 in the pot before it was contribution matched, is working to highlight a loophole which affects people across the public sector.

“No amount of money could ever bring Nick back, we’d have everything to have him walk through the door again,” Helen told the Mirror.

“It is the principle. He worked so hard and put all this money away, and now this. I am heartbroken for him.”

When he died Nick was the longest serving member of staff at the City of Norwich School, where he had worked as a foreign language teacher for 31 years.

He was taken to James Paget Hospital in Great Yarmouth after catching Covid in December and was placed on a ventilator after ten days of care.

Nick, who was double jabbed and had his booster booked in, died in the intensive care unit with his family by his side on January 2, 2022.

Two months after his death his mum received a death in service grant paid to the families of teachers who lose their lives while working.

The expected payout from his pension pot never came.

“I ran Teacher Pensions last week,” Helen said.

“They just said ‘what your mum got is the full and final settlement’. He had nominated her, but because he’s not married, the pension died with him.

“We estimate he had put well over £100,000 in. He was paying £450 a month before he died.

“They were very matter of fact, if you’re single, widowed or divorced you don’t get anything. He paid it in for his in old age or for his mum.

Nick was a long serving member of the City of Norwich School


Google Maps)

“We think he caught it at his workplace and the final insult is they won’t pay out on his pension.”

Following Nick’s death Helen has taken solace in the great outpouring of support from friends and colleagues at his school.

She continued: “Nick put the welfare of kids before anything, his life was his job. It is just heart-breaking. He was so well loved at school.

“We have had a trophy made for modern foreign languages ​​and we are presenting that at the school in a couple of weeks. There will be a memorial service held in May.”

Helen Morrissey, a senior pensions and retirement analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said: “While a spouse or civil partner will qualify for death benefits on a member’s death other family members would have to provide they were financially dependent on the member to qualify.

“As the mother isn’t financially dependent on the member then unfortunately she wouldn’t be entitled to the pension.

“There is a possibility she may be able to receive a discretionary lump sum payment, known as a death grant, if she was nominated for this too.

“This pays out a multiple of the annual pension, which depends on the precise scheme they were a member of, whether they were still an active member of the scheme, and whether they had already started drawing the pension.”

A Teacher Pensions said they could not comment on individual cases, but confirmed certain conditions had to be met for pensions to be paid out to nominated family members.

They include that the “family member must be wholly, or mainly financially dependent on the member at the date of death”

The spokesperson added: “We don’t specifically write out to all members who have made a nomination as we can only judge the circumstances of the dependency after we’ve been notified of the member’s death.”

Read More

Read More


Related Posts

George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *