Can I claim my late husband’s state pension?

23 October 2018


My husband died in July 2017, aged 63. He would have been due to retire in December this year and start receiving his state pension. I am not due to receive my state pension until July 2021. I do not work or claim any benefits as I suffer from back injury and arthritis. The only benefit I have is £100 a month from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), but that expires in January 2019.

Could I receive my husband’s state pension at the time when he would have been able to claim it? Otherwise I will have no income.

SW/Tyne and Wear


In most cases your state pension is now based on your own national insurance record and therefore will be paid at your state pension age.

However, if you were married before 1977 and paid the reduced rate of national insurance contributions (known as the ‘married woman’s stamp’) at this time, then you could be entitled to a pension based on your late husband’s national insurance record. This would be payable from the date you were widowed.

I would suggest that you request a state pension forecast, which can be obtained online or over the phone – see here for full contact details.

You should also speak to the Future Pension Centre to see if you are eligible for the state pension, based on your late husband’s national insurance record.

You may be entitled to other state benefits, so it would be worth speaking to the DWP and Citizens Advice for further information.

Finally, if your late husband had any private pension arrangements, it is worth checking with the provider whether you may be entitled to a spouse’s pension from them.