Ask the Experts: Am I entitled to any of my late husband's pension?

25 July 2017


Am I entitled to any of my late husband's pension as he died before he retired? My husband passed away two years ago. He had not retired, but would have turned 65 this year. Am I entitled to claim any of the state pension he would have received?



Yes, in certain circumstances you are entitled to some of your husband’s state pension.

Your husband would have retired under the new single-tier system for the state pension that was introduced on 6 April 2016, which currently pays £159.55 a week for those with a full national insurance record of 35 years. Transitional arrangements were brought in to protect those that were entitled to more than £159.55 a week under the old system, with the excess called a protected payment. If your husband was entitled to a protected payment, you would inherit half of this payment when you receive your state pension.

If there is no protected payment, you would only be able to inherit any of your husband’s pension if you were paying a reduced rate for married women. Until April 1977, married women could choose to pay a reduced rate of national insurance.

Your national insurance record should be adjusted by the Pension Service to reflect any inherited state pension. To find out your own pension position, you can apply for a state pension forecast at

Michelle Cracknell is chief executive of the Pensions Advisory Service