If you are married or in a civil partnership and you both reached State Pension age before 6 April 2016 then, when one of you dies, the survivor may be entitled to receive a higher basic State Pension based on the National Insurance record of their partner. This is only the case if the surviving partner hasn’t already built up a full basic State Pension from their own National Insurance contribution record.
If your spouse or civil partner is under State Pension age when you die, they will lose this right if they remarry or enter into a new civil partnership before they reach State Pension age.
If your spouse or civil partner dies you may be able to increase your basic State Pension up to £156.20 a week (in 2023/2024) if:
- your own basic State Pension is less than £156.20 a week
- your late spouse or civil partner had enough National Insurance contributions.
It may be possible for your estate to claim up to three months of your basic State Pension if you're not married or in a civil partnership when you die. They can only do this if you had not claimed it.
Contact the Pension Service to check what you can claim.