Delay (defer) your State Pension

6. Inheriting a deferred State Pension

You can usually inherit your partner’s extra State Pension if all of the following apply:

  • your partner reached State Pension age before 6 April 2016
  • you were married to, or in a civil partnership with, your partner when they died
  • your partner had deferred their State Pension or was claiming their deferred State Pension when they died
  • you didn’t remarry or form a new civil partnership before you reached State Pension age

If your partner died before 6 April 2010, one of the following must also apply:

  • you were over State Pension age when your partner died
  • you were under State Pension age when your partner died, you’re a woman and your deceased partner was your husband

You can only receive any extra State Pension you’ve inherited once you’ve reached State Pension age.

If your partner died before claiming their State Pension

How you inherit your partner’s extra State Pension depends on how long they deferred their pension for.

A year or more

If your partner deferred their State Pension by a year or more, you can usually choose to inherit it as a lump sum or as weekly payments. You’ll get a letter with the options you can choose from.

Between 5 weeks and a year

If your partner deferred their State Pension by between 5 weeks and a year, you’ll inherit it as weekly payments. You’ll get these payments with your own State Pension.

Less than 5 weeks

If your partner deferred their State Pension by less than 5 weeks, their State Pension payments for those weeks will become part their estate (their total property, money and possessions).

If your partner was getting their extra State Pension before they died

You’ll inherit your partner’s extra State Pension as extra weekly payments. You’ll get these payments with your own State Pension.