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BAFTA Favourites: The Death of Stalin

**Spoiler Alert**

The film starts with an orchestral performance of Mozart broadcast on Radio Moscow. Stalin calls the head of the radio to request a copy of the recording but the performance was not recorded. The head of the radio station goes to great length to recreate it. The disgruntled pianist Maria hides a note to Stalin in the recording telling him that he has ruined the country. When Stalin receives the recording, he reads the note and begins laughing suffering a cerebral haemorrhage.

It is a timely reminder that none of us know with certainty when we are going to die. As a result, we are not very good at updating our wishes on what happens with our pension.

Stalin is a good example and timely remainder of the chaos that can ensue when you have not recorded your wish. Politically, he left no successor and personally, it was far from straightforward as he was married twice, rumoured to have many lovers and offspring. The Trustees of any pension fund who had to deal with paying out death benefits in similar circumstances would struggle to know what to do.

The simple rules are:

  • Check that you have completed a nomination of wishes for all your pension benefits; from current and previous employers plus any other private pensions that you may have.
  • Keep a copy of the nomination of wishes forms with your other paperwork.
  • Review them every year to make sure that they are clear and reflect current circumstances.
  • A partner’s pension may have different rules and no trustee discretion but require you to name your partner in order for the pension to be paid.

How about taking on this task whilst listening to “Cosi fan tutte” (The school of lovers),”Don Giovanni” (The Libertine) or “Le nozze di Figaro” (The marriage of Figaro)?

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