If your spouse or civil partner reached State Pension age before 6 April 2016, they should contact the Pension Service when you die to check what they can claim.

They may be able to increase their basic State Pension by using your qualifying years if they do not already get the full amount.

If they reached State Pension age on or after 6 April 2016 or are under State Pension age when you die, they can check what inheritance they might be entitled to.

You’re single or divorced

If you’re single, divorced or your civil partnership was dissolved and you die after you’ve reached State Pension age, your estate can claim up to 3 months of your basic State Pension. They can only do this if you had not claimed it.

Extra money from deferring your State Pension

If you decided to defer your State Pension and built up an extra amount, your spouse or civil partner may either claim the extra State Pension or get a lump sum.

If you deferred for less than 12 months your spouse or civil partner can only get extra State Pension, not a lump sum.

If you deferred for 12 months or more they can choose to get extra State Pension or a lump sum payment. Provided they have not remarried or formed a new civil partnership since your death they can get this when they reach State Pension age.

State Pension top up

If you topped up your State Pension (between 12 October 2015 and 5 April 2017), your spouse or civil partner may be able to inherit some or all of your top up.