State Pension: What happens to my pension when I die?

The State Pension is a weekly payment the government supplies when you reach State Pension age. The sum of money received can provide vital financial support in later life.

What happens to my State Pension when I die?

Your State Pension entitlements may pass to your husband, wife or civil partner after you die.

In order to claim the extra payments, the recipient must already be of State Pension age.

What the person gets and how they claim it will depend on whether they reached State Pension age before or after 6 April 2016.

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You can contact the Pension Service via the government website if you are looking to make a claim.

Those who reached State Pension age before April 6, 2016

After you die, your husband, wife or civil partner will get any State Pension based on your National Insurance contributions when they claim their own pension.

They will not be entitled to this if they remarry or form a new civil partnership before reaching State Pension age.

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Those who reach State Pension age on or after April 6, 2016

On April 6, 2016, a new State Pension system was introduced.

The benefits payable on your death will depend on when you or your partner reached or will reach their State Pension age.

In some cases, those who have made National Insurance contributions or have credits under the current system will still be able to inherit a State Pension from a late spouse or partner.

A person may be able to increase their State Pension using their partner’s National Insurance record if only one member of the couple reached State Pension age under the previous system.

They can also inherit some additional State Pension payments from their late partner under the present system.

When both members of the couple reach State Pension age after April 6, 2016, a surviving spouse or partner will be able to inherit 50 per cent of any protected payment that exists.

A new pensioner may still inherit an old system deferral payment from their deceased spouse or partner.

For a surviving partner, there is no inheritance of the extra State Pension accumulated from the deferral of a new State Pension.

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