Your benefits, tax and pension after the death of a spouse

Pensions

You may be able to get extra pension payments from your husband, wife or civil partner’s pension or National Insurance contributions.

State Pension

You need to be over State Pension age to claim extra payments from your husband, wife or civil partner’s State Pension.

What you get and how you claim will depend on whether you reached State Pension age before or after 6 April 2016.

Contact the Pension Service to check what you can claim.

If you reached State Pension age before 6 April 2016

You’ll get any State Pension based on your husband, wife or civil partner’s National Insurance contribution when you claim your own pension.

You will not get it if you remarry or form a new civil partnership before you reach State Pension age.

If you reached State Pension age on or after 6 April 2016

You’ll receive the ‘new State Pension’ and you may be able to inherit an extra payment on top of your pension.

Private pensions

You may get payments from your husband, wife or civil partner’s workplace, personal or stakeholder pension - it will depend on the pension scheme. Contact the pension scheme to find out.

You’ll have to pay tax on those payments if the pension provider does not pay it for you.

War Widow’s or Widower’s Pension

You may be able to get War Widow’s or Widower Pension - if your husband, wife or civil partner died because of their service in the Armed Forces or because of a war.

  1. Step 1 Register the death

    1. Register the death within 5 days

    Check what to do if:

    To stop or change benefits payments you can tell the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) about the death straight away.

  2. Step 2 Arrange the funeral

  3. Step 3 Tell government about the death

    The Tell Us Once service allows you to inform all the relevant government departments when someone dies.

    1. Use the Tell Us Once service to tell government
    2. If Tell Us Once is not available in your area tell government yourself

    You'll also need to tell banks, utility companies and landlords yourself.

  4. Step 4 Check if you can get bereavement benefits

  5. and Deal with your own benefits, pension and taxes

    Your tax, benefit claims and pension might change depending on your relationship with the person who died.

    1. Manage your tax, pensions and benefits if your spouse has died
    2. Check how benefits are affected if a child dies
  6. and Check if you need to apply to stay in the UK

    If your right to live in the UK depends on your relationship with someone who died you might need to apply for a new visa.

    Check the rules if:

    1. Contact UKVI to check the rules for other visas
  7. Step 5 Deal with their estate

    You might have to deal with the will, money and property of the person who's died if you're a close friend or relative, or the executor of the will.

    1. Check what to do about wills, probate and inheritance
    2. Update property records