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Inheritance Of A Pension Fund

Question

If a father is in receipt of a pension and passed away, and that pension is payable to whomever he nominates does his nomination have to be as per the proportions decreed by sharia (to his wife and offspring) or could he nominate 100% to his wife only?

If a spousal pension is payable to his wife upon death of the husband, does the wife have to distribute this according to the proportions set out by sharia or is it considered her own income?

Answer

If the payout is made after death, then the deductible amount from his salary, which the company still owes, will form part of his estate and will be distributed amongst the heirs in accordance to the Islamic Law of Succession. This is because this is his money which the company owes. Therefore, it will be incorrect for any person nominated by the pension holder to retain any amount of this salary that was deducted; rather it should be distributed in accordance with Shari’ah.

As for the surplus amount that accrued over and above his deducted salary, this will not form part of the inheritance as he is not its owner, nor is it owed to him. Rather it is a gift from the government. The company has the prerogative of giving this amount to whoever they wish. If the company gives this gift to the estate, with the view of having it distributed amongst the heirs as inheritance, then all the heirs will be entitled to their respective shares as per the Islamic Law of Succession. In the case where there is an appointed beneficiary, and the company gives it to that specific beneficiary, then only he/she will become the owner. In the event of there being no appointed beneficiary, then the company may decide, as per their regulations, as to who they want to give it to. In both instances it will be permissible for the recipient of the gift amount to accept and utilize it. It will not be permissible for the other heirs of the deceased to lay claim to that surplus.

Regarding the spousal pension, this will be her own wealth and will not have to be distributed amongst the husband’s heirs as the husband was not the owner, nor was he owed this money.iii

Checked and Approved By:

Mufti Muhammed Saeed Motara Saheb D.B.

References

گی۔ (مجموعه قوانین اسلامی، ص۲۵۵، دفعه ۱۰)

( فتاوی محمود یہ ۲۰:قاسمیه ،۲۳۷:۲۵، مکتبہ اشرفیہ دیو بند )

(امداد الفتاوی، ۳۴۲:۴، مکتبہ دار العلوم کراچی)

(احسن الفتاوی،۳۰۱:۹، سعید )

(کتاب الفتاوی، ۳۲۷:۲، زمزم پبلشرز)

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