SERPS and the State Second Pension

The additional State Pension was previously known as the State Earnings Related Pension Scheme (SERPS) and the State Second Pension. Your entitlement to an extra amount from the state is assessed on your National Insurance contributions.

State Earnings-Related Pension Scheme (SERPS)

Until April 2002, the additional State Pension for employees was called the State Earnings-Related Pension Scheme (SERPS).

The amount of SERPS pension you received was based on:

  • your National Insurance contributions
  • how much you earned

Inheriting your spouse or civil partner’s SERPS

The amount of SERPS pension that you could inherit depends on the date of birth of the person who has died. Use the following table to see how this might affect you.

Maximum SERPS a man’s wife or civil partner can inherit

Man's date of birth Maximum percentage of SERPS pension that the man's wife or civil partner can inherit
5 October 1937 or before 100%
Between 6 October 1937 and 5 October 1939 90%
Between 6 October 1939 and 5 October 1941 80%
Between 6 October 1941 and 5 October 1943 70%
Between 6 October 1943 and 5 October 1945 60%
6 October 1945 and after 50%

Maximum SERPS a woman’s husband or civil partner can inherit

Woman's date of birth Maximum percentage of SERPS pension that the woman's husband or civil partner can inherit
5 October 1942 or before 100%
Between 6 October 1942 and 5 October 1944 90%
Between 6 October 1944 and 5 October 1946 80%
Between 6 October 1946 and 5 October 1948 70%
Between 6 October 1948 and 5 July 1950 60%
6 July 1950 and after 50%

There is a maximum amount of additional State Pension that you may receive. This is a combination of both your own additional pension and any inherited additional pension. The maximum amount is changed each year and is applied at the date on which entitlement to the inherited additional pension first arises. The maximum additional State Pension between 6 April 2015 and 5 April 2016 is £164.36 each week.

State Second Pension

In April 2002, the additional State Pension became known as the State Second Pension.

The State Second Pension is more generous for low and moderate earners, certain carers and people with a long-term illness or disability.

Spouse or civil partner inheritance of the State Second Pension

A widow, widower or surviving civil partner can only inherit a maximum of 50 per cent of their spouse's or civil partner's State Second Pension.

There is a maximum amount of additional State Pension that you may receive. This is a combination of both your own additional pension and any inherited additional pension. The maximum amount is changed each year and is applied at the date on which entitlement to the inherited additional pension first arises.

Additional State Pension

Find out if you can get additional State Pension or whether you may have been 'contracted out'.

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