State Pension rules changed in April 2016, and the updated rules changed what you are entitled to in the tragic event your partner dies. You can get some of your partners’ entitlement, but this depends on how many NI contributions they have and whether they get the old State Pension or the new State Pension.
The amount of State Pension you get depends on how long you’ve been paying National Insurance or getting National Insurance credits.
You can only start receiving your State Pension when you reach State Pension age.
If you reached State Pension age before April 2016, some of your partners’ entitlements may be passed to you in the event your spouse dies.
Your husband or wife may be entitled to some basic state pension based on your National Insurance contributions but only if they have not already built up a full basic state pension from their own NI contributions record.
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If you or your partner dies, you or your partner can apply for each others National Insurance record to be used instead of their own, so this will only help them if one of your records is more complete than the other.
If you or your parter dies while one of you is under state pension age, they/you will lose this right if either of you remarries or enter into a new civil partnership before they reach state pension age.
Your spouse or civil partner could be entitled to any extra state pension you are entitled to if you put off claiming it when you reached state pension age.
If you reach state pension age under the new rules that came in after April 2016, the rules are slightly different.
The benefits payable on yours or their death will depend on when you or your partner reached or will reach their State Pension age.
There will be transitional arrangements so, in some circumstances, people who have made national insurance contributions or have credits under the current system will still be able to inherit state pension from a late spouse or partner.
Members of a couple in which only one of them reaches their State Pension age under the previous system may be able to increase their State Pension using their partner’s National Insurance record.
They can also inherit some additional State Pension from their deceased spouse or civil partner as under the current system.
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When both partners reach State Pension age after April 6, 2016, a surviving spouse or civil partner will be able to inherit 50 percent of any protected payment that exists when one of them dies.
A new state pensioner may still inherit an old system deferral payment from their late spouse or civil partner.
There is no inheritance by a surviving spouse or civil partner of the extra state pension built up from deferral of a new State Pension.
What about bereavement payments?
Your widowed husband, wife or civil partner may also be able to claim Bereavement Support Payment, which is made up of a lump sum followed by 12 monthly payments.
The amount of benefit you receive is linked to whether you have dependent children and the National Insurance Contribution record of the partner who has died.
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