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State Pension Payments after Death

There are times when you can inherit or increase the State Pension via a spouse or a civil partner. If you become widowed, you may end up inheriting an extra payment on top of your new State Pension.

INHERITING STATE PENSION: This section explains the rules for State Pension payments after the death of a spouse (or partner).

Inheriting Additional State Pension

To inherit some of your deceased partner’s Additional State Pension, the marriage or civil partnership must have started before April 6th 2016 and:

  • They reached State Pension age prior to 6th of April 2016 (OR)
  • They would have reached State Pension age on or after 6th of April 2016 but passed away before this date.

Note: If you remarry or form a new civil partnership prior to reaching State Pension age you cannot inherit extra payments.

Inheriting a Protected Payment

You can inherit half of your deceased partner’s ‘protected payment‘ paid with your State Pension, providing:

  • The marriage or civil partnership started before the 6th of April 2016.
  • Your partner reached State Pension age on or after the 6th of April 2016.
  • Your spouse or your civil partner died on or after the 6th of April 2016.
Inheriting Extra State Pension or a Lump Sum

As a rule, you can inherit part, all, or a lump sum, of your partner’s extra State Pension if they:

Divorce or Dissolving a Civil Partnership

When you get divorced, or you dissolve your civil partnership, the court can issue a ‘pension sharing order‘.

Your ex-partner may get issued with a court order to share their Additional State Pension or ‘protected payments’. That results in an extra payment on top of your State Pension payments.

But, the court can also order you to share your Additional State Pension or ‘protected payments’ with your ex-partner. That means your State Pension will get a reduction.

Partner’s NI Record and Your State Pension

The new State Pension gets based on your personal National Insurance record. Those who qualify can increase their new State Pension.

Note: Eligibility means you have been paying the ‘married women’s or widow’s reduced rate National Insurance‘.


The New State Pension: A section explaining the new State Pension rules and regulations.
How State Pension is Calculated: Your NI record determines the formula for the new State Pension.
National Insurance Record: How NI record and contributions determine eligibility at State Pension age.
Contracted Out: Check what happens if you were in a workplace, personal, or stakeholder pension.
Living and Working Abroad: What happens to your new State Pension if you live and work overseas?

Inheriting or Increasing the State Pension after Death from a Spouse or Civil Partner