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What happens to State Pension payments if your partner or spouse dies

todayJune 14, 2022

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Around 12.4 million people across the UK are in receipt of State Pension payments. The money is paid every four weeks.

For some people, it is their only source of income after retiring. In the UK, the retirement age for both men and women is 66. The payment is organised by and paid by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).

Those who have reached retirement age, and have paid enough National Insurance Contributions, are eligible to claim. People eligible for the full, new State Pension will receive £185.15 per week until April 2023, while anyone on the ‘old’ basic State Pension (category A or B), will be paid £141.85 per week, reports the Daily Record.

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The type of State Pension you can claim is dependant on your date of birth. Men born before April 6, 1951 and women born before April 6, 1953 can claim the basic State Pension – those born after these dates follow the new State Pension rules.

People who are eligible to claim the new State Pension can do so once they have reached their State Pension age. But they could also opt to defer payments and carrying on working if they wish to do so, which will increase the payments paid when they eventually decide to claim.

On top of this, there is nothing stopping people claiming State Pension while continuing to work. But what happens to State Pension payments if you, your spouse, or partner dies?

What happens to your State Pension after you pass away?

A State Pension claim does not end when somebody dies. It only stops when the Pension Service are informed.

In doing this, loved ones may be entitled to extra payments from your deceased spouse’s or civil partner’s State Pension, but this depends on their National Insurance Contributions and also when they reached the State Pension age.

Bereavement benefits might be available for people who have not reached the State Pension age.

Inheritance: Rules around the Basic State Pension

Loved ones are urged to contact the Pension Service ones a spouse or civil partner dies if they reached State Pension age before April 6, 2016, to check what can be claimed.

If they reached State Pension age on or after April 6, 2016, or be under State Pension age when their spouse or civil partner dies, the “Your partner’s National Insurance record and your State Pension” tool on the UK Government website can be used to check what inheritance someone may be entitled to.

Those who are single or divorced, or who have had their civil partnership dissolved, it may be that their estate can claim some of a basic State Pension. This is if that person dies after reaching State Pension age, and only if the State Pension had not been claimed. In this circumstance, the estate can claim up to three months of the basic State Pension.

Deferring your State Pension

People can choose to defer their State Pension so they can earn a larger sum later on. If this is the case, the spouse or civil partner may either claim the extra State Pension or get a lump sum.

Topping up your State Pension

According to the government’s website, the spouse or civil partner of anyone who has topped up their State Pension (between October 12, 2015 and April 5, 2017) may be able to inherit some or all of the top up.

Inheritance: Rules around the New State Pension

Someone might be able to inherit an extra payment on top of their new State Pension if they are widowed. But nothing can be inherited if they remarry or form a new civil partnership before they reach State Pension age.

Inheriting additional State Pension

One of the following circumstances might apply if a marriage or civil partnership started before April 6, 2016:

  • The deceased 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

Rules for inheriting a protected payment

A person will inherit half of their deceased partner’s money from this if their marriage or civil partnership with them began before April 6, 2016, and the follow criteria are met:

  • Their State Pension age is on or after April 6, 2016.

  • They died on or after April 6, 2016.

  • This payment will be made with the State Pension.

What about inheriting extra State Pension or a lump sum?

A widow or widower may inherit part or all of their partner’s extra State Pension or lump sum if:

  • They died while they were deferring their State Pension or had started claiming it after deferring.

  • They reached State pension age before April 6, 2016.

  • They were married or in the civil partnership when they died.

Check your State Pension to calculate how much money you will receive on the GOV.UK website here.

Written by: thehitnetwork

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