Inheriting new State Pension

You might be able to inherit an extra payment on top of your new State Pension if you are widowed. You will not be able to inherit anything if you remarry or form a new civil partnership before you reach State Pension age.

This information is for a man born on or after 6 April 1951 or a woman born on or after 6 April 1953

Inheriting Additional State Pension

You might inherit part of your deceased partner’s Additional State Pension if your marriage or civil partnership with them began before 6 April 2016, and one of the following applies:

  • your partner reached State Pension age before 6 April 2016, or
  • they died before 6 April 2016 but would have reached State Pension age on or after that date.

It will be paid with your State Pension.

Inheriting half of a partner’s Protected Payment

Under the new State Pension, people will receive a weekly Protected Payment if their starting amount is greater than the full rate of the new State Pension.

You may be able to inherit half of your husband, wife or civil partner’s Protected Payment if your marriage or civil partnership started before 6 April 2016, and your partner either:

  • reaches State Pension age on or after 6 April 2016, or
  • dies under State Pension age, on or after 6 April 2016

Inheriting a partner’s extra State Pension or lump sum payment

If your husband, wife or civil partner was receiving extra State Pension because they had deferred (delayed claiming) their State Pension, you may be able to inherit part or all of this extra amount, if:

  • your husband, wife or civil partner reached State Pension age before 6 April 2016, and
  • you were married or in a civil partnership when they died

If your husband, wife or civil partner was still deferring their State Pension when they died, you may be able to choose between inheriting either an extra weekly amount or a one-off (taxable) lump-sum payment.

People who have divorced or dissolved their civil partnership

For people who are getting divorced or dissolving their civil partnership, the courts can issue what is known as a ‘Pension Sharing Order’.

This means you’ll get an extra payment on top of your State Pension if your ex-partner is ordered to share their Additional State Pension or protected payment with you.

Your State Pension will be reduced if you’re ordered to share your Additional State Pension or protected payment with your partner.

Women who have been paying reduced-rate contributions

Until April 1977, married women could choose to pay a reduced rate of National Insurance contributions, known as a ‘reduced rate election’ or ‘the small stamp’. Some people may still be paying this reduced rate and planning to derive a basic State Pension from their spouse.

As a result, they might have few or even no qualifying years on their National Insurance record. They’re also unable to make voluntary National Insurance contributions for years in which they’ve already paid a full year of reduced rate contributions.

In order to make sure that they aren’t unfairly disadvantaged, transitional rules have been introduced for women who’ve paid reduced rate contributions at any point within the 35 years before their State Pension age.

Under these rules, they won’t need to meet the minimum requirement of 10 qualifying years.

They may also be able to inherit part of their late partner’s State Pension.

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