An “expression of wish” form is a vital piece of the pension jigsaw. This enables you to nominate one or more people to benefit from your private and/or occupational pension schemes, should you die before retirement. It’s like having a Will for your pensions, and with legislation being complex, it can be a simple way to pass pension benefits tax efficiently.
The question is always asked when you first join a scheme or take out a personal pension plan, but thereafter, it’s up to you to make sure that the nomination remains up-to-date. Given the complexities of life and the fact that pensions tend to get ‘forgotten’ ahead of retirement, it’s no surprise that these nominations often no longer reflect scheme members’ wishes. However pension trustees and scheme administrators will typically rely upon them to pay out benefits quickly and efficiently to the right people. It’s therefore important to revisit the nomination when your circumstances change, and certainly when you start to draw down pension benefits.