The state pension offers many retirees some welcomed financial support in their later years. However, this can only be claimed after you have reached state pension age. The amount you get depends on a number of things, such as the type of state pension: namely the basic state pension and new state pension. But, what happens after your die – are your loved ones able to inherit your state pension?
The government website explains the rules on inheriting a state pension.
The basic state pension
Men born before April 6 1951, and women born before April 6 1953, can claim the basic state pension.
If this applies to your spouse or civil partner, following your death, they should contact the Pension Service.
If they don’t already get the full amount, they may be able to use your qualifying years to increase their basic state pension.
Should they have reached state pension age on or after April 6 2016, use the government tool to see what inheritance they may be entitled to.
If you’re single, divorced, or your civil partnership was dissolved – and you die after you’ve reached state pension age – your estate will be able to claim up to three months of your basic state pension.
However, they can only do this if you had not claimed it.
If you deferred your state pension and built up an extra amount, your spouse or civil partner may either claim this extra state pension, or get a lump sum.
That’s provided they have not remarried or formed a new civil partnership since your death, and only when they reach state pension age.
However, they will only get the option of this if you deferred for 12 months or more.
If this isn’t the case, they can only get extra state pension payments.
The new state pension
If you’re widowed, you might be able to inherit an extra payment on top of your new state pension.
However, those who have married or formed a new civil partnership before reaching state pension age will not inherit anything.