Will I get my late husband's state pension?

5 May 2016


I am 60 and need some help working out the state pension I am entitled to. I thought I would be entitled to credits built up by my deceased husband’s contributions, but now I’m not sure that is the case.

I was born on 13 June 1955, started working at the age of 15 and was married at 21. Following my marriage I immediately went on to 'married women's stamp', which was also known as a 'small stamp'.  We never had children and both worked in full-time employment. My husband was in full-time employment from age 15 to 53 when he died of cancer. At that time, I was told I would be entitled to a state pension in my husband's right. However, I gather I will not be entitled to this under the new state pension rules introduced in April.

I would be grateful if you could please confirm if this is the case and, if so, what has actually happened to the national insurance contributions my husband paid from the age of 15 to 53, all his working life?



“As you are female and born after 1953, the new state pension rules do apply to you. This means your state pension would normally be based on your own national insurance contributions (NICs) only.

However, as you paid NICs under the Married Women’s reduced rate election (the Married Women’s stamp) before 1977, your state pension will be worked out differently under transitional arrangements.

You should qualify for a pension of about £119.30 a week, plus any additional state pension and graduated retirement benefit you have built up. 

Also, because you fall into this transitional group and have not remarried, there still may be a payment to inherit from your late husband’s additional state pension. The rules surrounding this are extremely complex and applied individually, so your best course of action would be to seek clarification from the Future Pension Centre at the Department of Work & Pensions on 0345 3000 168.