A new state pension system comes into effect from 6 April
2016. This page contains information on how those reaching state pension age (SPA)
before and after 6 April 2016 are affected.
Reaching your SPA before 6 April 2016
The current rules, detailed in this section, apply to you if you
have already reached your SPA or are due to reach your
SPA before 6 April 2016.
When you die, some of your state pension entitlements may pass
to your widow, widower or surviving civil partner.
Basic state pension
Your spouse or civil partner may be entitled to some basic state pension based on your
(NI) contributions, but only if they have not already built up
a full basic state pension from their own NI contributions
When you die, your spouse or civil partner can apply for your NI
record to be used instead of their own, so this will only help them
if your record is more complete than theirs.
If you die while they are under state pension age, they will
lose this right if they remarry or enter into a new civil
partnership before they reach state pension age.
Your spouse or civil partner may be entitled to any extra state
pension you are entitled to because you put off claiming it when
you reached state pension age.
Read our section on how the state pension works
To find out more visit the gov.uk website
Additional state pension
You may have contributed towards an additional state pension. This could
be the state second pension (S2P,
which used to be known as the state
earnings-related pension scheme or SERPS) or the graduated state
If you die, your spouse or civil partner may be able to inherit
some of this additional state pension.
To see how much additional state pension can be inherited, go to
Your widowed husband, wife or civil partner may also be able to
claim the following bereavement benefits:
- a one-off bereavement payment;
- bereavement allowance for one year;
- widowed parent's allowance (if they have a dependent child or
All these benefits will depend on the amount of national
insurance contributions you've paid, or are treated as having
To read more about:
Reaching your SPA on or after 6 April 2016
A new state pension system is being introduced from 6 April
2016. The benefits payable on your death will depend on when
you or your partner reached or will reach their state pension
There will be transitional arrangements, so that in some
circumstances, people who have made national insurance
contributions 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 current 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 present
- When both partners reach State Pension age after single tier
starts, a surviving spouse or civil partner will be able to inherit
50% of any protected payment that exists.