Interactive Investor

Can I benefit from my late husbands’ state pensions?

30th April 2019 15:52

Michelle Cracknell from interactive investor


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“I have been widowed twice and have never been given a widow’s pension. I was 43 the first time and 59 the second time. I am now 64 years old and retired at 55 claiming no benefits whatsoever.I have been told that I can claim against both my late husbands’ national insurance contributions (NICs). Is this correct?”

From: MBD/Rugby


As your state pension age is after April 2016, the new state pension rules apply to you. In most cases, your state pension is now based on your own NI record and therefore will be paid at your state pension age.

You will not be able to inherit anything if you remarry or form a new civil partnership before you reach state pension age. 

However, if you were married before 1977 and paid the reduced rate of national insurance contributions (known as the married woman’s stamp) at this time, you could be entitled to a pension based on your late husband’s NI record. This would be payable from the date you were widowed but cease on remarriage.

I would suggest that you request a state pension forecast, which can be obtained at You should also speak to the Future Pension Centre to see if you are eligible for the state pension, based on your late husband’s NI record.

You may be entitled to other state benefits, so it would be worth speaking to the Department for Works and Pensions and Citizens Advice for further information. You can only claim against your second husband’s national insurance record as your remarriage lost you any entitlement in respect of your first.

Finally, if either of your late husbands had any private pension arrangements, it is worth checking with the provider whether you may be entitled to a widow’s pension from them.

This article was originally published in our sister magazine Moneywise, which ceased publication in August 2020.

These articles are provided for information purposes only. Occasionally, an opinion about whether to buy or sell a specific investment may be provided by third parties. The content is not intended to be a personal recommendation to buy or sell any financial instrument or product, or to adopt any investment strategy as it is not provided based on an assessment of your investing knowledge and experience, your financial situation or your investment objectives. The value of your investments, and the income derived from them, may go down as well as up. You may not get back all the money that you invest. The investments referred to in this article may not be suitable for all investors, and if in doubt, an investor should seek advice from a qualified investment adviser.

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