Life insurance, pensions and civil status in Ireland


Your life insurance or pension policy in Ireland may provide for a lump sum, or pension to be paid to a specified person on your death or retirement. In this case, you may be able to nominate your cohabiting partner as the beneficiary. However, many policies specify that only a spouse may benefit i.e. your husband or wife. A pension scheme that provides a benefit for a spouse is deemed to provide a benefit for a civil partner.

Where a policy specifies that only a spouse may benefit, your cohabiting partner will not have any entitlements. Likewise, you may be entitled to a supplement to your pension in respect of a spouse/civil partner, but not in respect of a cohabitee. Check with your insurer or the trustees of your pension if you want to be sure about the stipulations of your particular policy. If you are not married, you should check if anything can be changed to allow your partner entitlements that he/she would not otherwise have.

Unclaimed life insurance policies

The Unclaimed Life Assurance Policies Act 2003 requires insurance companies in Ireland to identify and contact the owners of unclaimed life insurance policies. If the owners cannot be traced, the proceeds of the policies will be transferred to the Dormant Accounts Fund, which is managed by the National Treasury Management Agency.

Additional information

Insurance Ireland is the representative body for insurance companies in Ireland. Its members include both Irish insurance companies and branches of foreign insurers established in Ireland. All of the life assurers in the Irish market are members, as are over 98% of the non-life (general insurance) companies.

Insurance Ireland provides a Customer Information Service for queries in connection with insurance matters. Queries in connection with life insurance issues should be addressed to your insurance company or:

Insurance Ireland

Insurance Centre
5 Harbourmaster Place
Dublin 1
DO1 E7E8

Tel: +353 (0)1 676 1820
Fax: +353 (0)1 676 1943
Page edited: 17 May 2016