State pension: Widowed? You could inherit your partner’s retirement sum

State Pension: Expert outlines criteria to qualify

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On top of the devastation of losing a husband or a wife, it can also cause worries about financial stability. Those who are widowed, however, may find they are able to gain support through the state pension.

Aside from their own potential basic state pension sum, they may be able to inherit an extra payment on top.

This is applicable for certain individuals, so it is vital to make note of the eligibility criteria.

Firstly, a person may be able to inherit what is known as the Additional state pension.

Widows and widowers might inherit part of their deceased partner’s Additional state pension, as long as their marriage began before April 6, 2016.

One of the following must also apply:

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

Those who receive this support will have it paid out with their state pension.

Others will be able to inherit a protected payment.

The Government website states individuals could inherit half of their partner’s protected payment if their marriage or civil partnership began before April 2016.

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Their state pension age must have been on or after April 6, 2016, and they must have died on or after this date.

Extra state pension can also be inherited, or a lump sum, it has been explained.

This will be the case if a partner:

  • Died while they were deferring their state pension (before claiming) or they had started claiming it after deferring
  • Reached state pension age before April 6, 2016
  • Were married or in the civil partnership when they died

Inheriting a state pension can provide financial help to the widow or widower left behind.

This can provide some financial reassurance during this difficult time.

The new state pension is based on a person’s own National Insurance record.

They cannot use the record of their spouse to boost their state pension payments.

However, there is an important note for those who paid married women’s or widows’ reduced rate National Insurance.

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These individuals may be able to increase their new state pension if they are eligible. 

The rules for how a person can increase their state pension and what they can inherit will be different.

This will depend on when they and their spouse or civil partner reached state pension age, as detailed.

To help understand matters, the Government has developed an online tool.

It’s named ‘Your partner’s National Insurance record and your state pension’ and it provides key details to Britons.

Individuals will need to know when both they and their spouse or civil partner reached state pension age to use this tool. 

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