State Pension – Inheritance And Change of Circumstances

Inheritance And Change Of Circumstances

5 Inheritance And The State Pension

If your spouse or civil partner reached State Pension age before 6 April 2016, they should contact the Pension Service when you die to check what they can claim.

They may be able to increase their basic State Pension by using your qualifying years if they don’t already get the full amount.

If they reached State Pension age on or after 6 April 2016 or are under State Pension age when you die, they can check what inheritance they might be entitled to.

You’re single or divorced

If you’re single, divorced or your civil partnership was dissolved and you die after you’ve reached State Pension age, your estate can claim up to 3 months of your basic State Pension. They can only do this if you hadn’t claimed it.

Extra money from deferring your State Pension

If you decided to defer your State Pension and built up an extra amount, your spouse or civil partner may either claim the extra State Pension or get a lump sum.

If you deferred for less than 12 months your spouse or civil partner can only get extra State Pension, not a lump sum.

If you deferred for 12 months or more they can choose to get extra State Pension or a lump sum payment. Provided they haven’t remarried or formed a new civil partnership since your death they can get this when they reach State Pension age.

State Pension top up

If you die within 90 days of topping up, your payment will be added to the value of your estate (your money, property and possessions). Anything you’ve already claimed will be deducted from this amount.

If you die after 90 days, the inheritance rules for the Additional State Pension apply.


Change Of Circumstances

You must tell the Pension Service if anything in your circumstances changes, for example if you:

  • move home
  • go into or come out of hospital
  • move abroad or return to the UK
  • go into a care home
  • change your bank account
  • marry or form a civil partnership
  • get divorced or have your civil partnership dissolved
  • are widowed or your civil partner dies


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