Certificate of existence
Payments to deceased members is estimated to cost UK pension schemes £200 million per annum – to tackle this problem, it is essential that pension scheme members have robust existence checks conducted on them at regular intervals.
Existence checks have historically been conducted by obtaining a Certificate of Existence from scheme members via surface mail. In addition to being expensive, the person requested to complete the Certificate of Existence may perceive it as obtrusive and take umbrage, which could damage your company’s public image. Furthermore, when obtaining a Certificate of Existence the responsibility for completion of the Certificate of Existence document is beyond your control; this leaves your scheme wide open to concealment fraud – which can also be considered a form of impersonation of the deceased fraud.
Concealment fraud occurs when an individual (often a relative) fails to notify a scheme of an eligible pensioner’s death and continues to receive the deceased pensioner’s benefits. The National Association of Pension Funds (NAPF) cautions that if a pensioner’s spouse or children are due a contingency benefit following their death, failure to return a Certificate of Existence or properly notify trustees could jeopardise contingency benefit payments and be considered fraud.
Tracesmart Corporate offer the option of two services which provide a robust alternative to obtaining a Certificate of Existence:
- Existence Batch – Automated high volume processing
- Existence Alert – Our continuous, automated screening system
Unlike acquiring a Certificate of Existence, all of our existence checks are unobtrusive and cost-effective. Also, as opposed to a completed Certificate of Existence, the information supplied is fully reliable in that it draws upon current and historic death data from the General Register Office (GRO) and the Halo dataset.
To avoid the pitfalls of certificates of existence – contact us.