State pension: Could you inherit your spouse’s sum? Brits may be entitled to higher income

Budget 2021: Experts outline state pension changes

We use your sign-up to provide content in ways you’ve consented to and to improve our understanding of you. This may include adverts from us and 3rd parties based on our understanding. You can unsubscribe at any time. More info

It may be possible to inherit some of a spouse or civil partner’s state pension when they die. The additional amount that can be received is based on the deceased spouse or civil partner’s National Insurance contributions.

People who reached state pension age before April 6, 2016 may be able to inherit some of their spouse or civil partner’s state pension.

A person may be able to increase their basic state pension by using their spouse or civil partner’s qualifying years, if they do not already receive the full amount of £137.60 a week.

The full amount of the basic state pension will increase to £141.85 per week from April 2022.

It may also be possible to inherit part of a spouse or civil partner’s additional state pension or Graduated Retirement Benefit.

The additional state pension, sometimes called the state second pension or SERPS, is an extra amount of income people can receive on top of their basic state pension, if they are a man born before April 6, 1951 or a woman born before April 6, 1953.

Graduated Retirement Benefit is an additional benefit for people who paid ‘graduated contributions’ in addition to their National Insurance contributions between 1961 and 1975.

The Graduated Retirement Benefit scheme provided earnings-related pensions on top of the basic state pension, and was replaced by SERPS in 1978.

If eligible, people could inherit up to 50 percent of their partner’s additional state pension, but exactly how much someone can receive depends on when their partner died.

‘Historic injustice’ – British pensioners with frozen pensions living on just £22 per week [REACTION]
PIP: Britons may get up to £152 per week for hearing loss or other conditions [INSIGHT]
‘Slippery slope’: Fear as over 60s to lose free NHS prescriptions [ANALYSIS]

Those who already get additional state pension themselves and are looking to inherit their partner’s additional state pension should take note that the maximum amount that can be received by one person is £180.31 per week.


A deceased partner’s additional state pension may be inherited if the couple’s marriage or civil partnership started before April 6, 2016 and either the deceased partner reached state pension age before that date, or died before that date and would have reached state pension age on or after it.

The inherited amount of additional state pension would be paid to the person inheriting it along with their normal state pension payments.

However, if the surviving partner remarries or forms another civil partnership before they reach state pension age, they will not be able to inherit their deceased partner’s additional state pension.

Those who reached state pension age by April 6, 2010 cannot inherit the additional state pension of a spouse or civil partner if the deceased partner died before reaching state pension age, and after the surviving partner reached theirs.

If the deceased spouse or civil partner died on or after April 6, 2016 and would have reached state pension age on or after the same date, their additional state pension cannot be inherited. This is also the case when the marriage or civil partnership began after April 6, 2016.

Inheriting deferred state pension

If a spouse or partner deferred their state pension and built up an extra amount, their surviving partner can usually claim the extra state pension or get a lump sum. Once again, they must not have remarried or formed a new civil partnership.

If the deceased partner deferred for less than one year, they can only get extra state pension and not a lump sum.

It will only be possible for the person inheriting this deferred state pension to receive it once they have reached state pension age.

People can check what inheritance they might be entitled to based on their spouse or civil partner’s National Insurance contributions by contacting the Pension Service to see what they can claim.

Source: Read Full Article