personal finance

State pension payments could be inherited after a spouse dies – who can claim?

The state pension for many people is a primary source of income which will be relied upon for sustaining one’s later years. The payment from the DWP is issued once every four weeks, and made available to those who have reached state pension age – currently 66. However, once a person has passed away, this is not necessarily the end of support they can receive from the Government.

In fact, there are certain rules about the inheritance of a state pension which are worth bearing in mind. 

There will, though, be certain steps a person will have to take for their spouse or partner once they are no longer here. 

Firstly, when someone passes away, a surviving partner or spouse should call the Pension Service.

This is so the Government are aware the person has died, and payments can stop.

READ MORE: DWP update as £800 payment available to Britons before Christmas

This is an extra sum of money a person could get on top of the basic or “old” state pension if they are a man born before April 6, 1951 or a woman born before April 6, 1953.

Individuals could inherit part of their deceased partner’s Additional state pension if the marriage or partnership began before April 6, 2016.

However, one of the following must also apply:

  • The partner reached state pension age before April 6, 2016
  • The partner died before April 6, 2016 but would have reached state pension age on or after that date

If these criteria are fulfilled, the surviving spouse will receive the additional payment with their state pension.

Similar rules apply for those who have what is known as a protected payment.

A person’s National Insurance record before April 6, 2016 is used to calculate a starting amount which is what a person would get under old rules, or what they would have received if the new state pension had been in place at the start of their working life.

The part of a starting amount above the full new state pension is called a protected payment, and is paid on top of the full new state pension.

Inheritance will be applicable if the marriage or partnership began before April 6, 2016 and:

  • The person’s state pension age is on or after April 6, 2016
  • The person died on or after April 6, 2016.

Once again, the sum is issued with a person’s state pension payments. 

Finally, an extra state pension or lump sum could also be inherited from someone who has passed away.

This could occur if a person died while they were deferring their state pension, before claiming, or they had started claiming it after deferring.

The deceased individual must have reached state pension age before April 6, 2016.

In addition, the couple must have been in the marriage or civil partnership when the deceased passed away.


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