Inheriting basic State Pension
You may be entitled to some of your spouse or civil partner's State Pension entitlements. Find out if you are eligible for basic State Pension, Bereavement Support Service and additional State Pension.
This information is for a man born before 6 April 1951 or a woman born before 6 April 1953
If you reached State Pension age before 6 April 2016, you may be able to inherit some of your spouse or civil partner’s State Pension when they die.
Contact the Northern Ireland Pension Centre to see what you can claim.
You may be able to increase your basic State Pension by using their qualifying years if you do not already get the full amount of £156.20 a week.
You may also be able to inherit part of your spouse’s or civil partner’s Additional State Pension or Graduated Retirement Benefit.
If you reached State Pension age on or after 6 April 2016 different rules apply to you.
You can check what inheritance you may be entitled to based on your spouse’s or civil partner’s National Insurance Contributions.
Bereavement Support Payment
You may also be able to claim Bereavement Support Payment.
For more information about bereavement, including Bereavement Support Payment, go to the link below:
Inheriting a deferred State Pension
If your spouse or partner deferred their State Pension and built up an extra amount, you can usually claim the extra State Pension or get a lump sum. You must not have remarried or formed a new civil partnership.
If they deferred for less than 12 months, you can only get extra State Pension. You cannot get a lump sum.
You can only get the extra State Pension once you’ve reached State Pension age.
Inheriting State Pension Top Up
If your spouse or civil partner topped up their State Pension (between 12 October 2015 and 5 April 2017) you may be able to inherit some or all of their top up.
Spouse or civil partner born before 6 April 1950
You can only get the increase if you’re a woman who is married to either:
- a man
- a woman who legally changed their gender from male to female during your marriage
How to apply
Most people will get the increase automatically if they are eligible.
You will need to contact the Northern Ireland Pension Centre to get the increase if you’re a married woman and:
- your spouse claimed their State Pension before 17 March 2008
- you reached State Pension age before your spouse
You’ll also need to contact the Pension Service if either of the following apply:
- your spouse or civil partner reached State Pension age but has not claimed their State Pension yet
- you were widowed, divorced or had your civil partnership dissolved in the last 12 months
Your State Pension and your partner's National Insurance record
The rules about how you can increase your State Pension and what you can inherit depend on when you and your spouse or civil partner reach State Pension age.
Use the online tool at the link below for:
- general advice about being eligible to inherit from a spouse or civil partner
- an estimate of your State Pension entitlements