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: