Am I entitled to receive my late husband's state pension?

25 July 2016


My husband died in May 2015. Since then, I have received widow’s benefit, but that ended after a year. What happens now? Will I receive my husband’s state pension?

I am 60 and my husband was 72 when he died. He worked all his life and paid national insurance and taxes.



The benefit you have been receiving is known as bereavement allowance. It is only paid for a period of 52 weeks from the date your husband died. Whether you are entitled to any further benefits will depend on your personal circumstances and the level of your income.

Your state pension won’t be paid until you claim it after reaching your state pension age. This will be when you are 66 years old. As your state pension age is after 6 April 2016, you will be entitled to what is known as the ‘new state pension’. This is normally only based on your own national insurance record.

Under the old system, it was possible to use your late husband’s national insurance record instead of your own if you did not have a full national insurance record and using his record would have given you a higher pension.


However, to make sure you are no worse off as a result of the changes to how the state pension is worked out, a calculation is done to check your entitlement under the old system as at 5 April 2016 and compare that figure against what your entitlement would have been had the new state scheme criteria been in place. The higher amount becomes your ‘foundation amount’ and the state pension eventually payable to you cannot be lower than this.

I’m afraid the above may sound complicated. You may want to ask for a state pension forecast to get an idea of what to expect. You can get one at