“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?”
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 Gov.uk/check-state-pension. 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.
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