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Are Spouses Automatic Beneficiaries?

Published On Aug 09, 2021 11:00 AM By InsuranceDekho

The fundamental goal of a pension plan is to protect your and your family's future once you retire, especially if you have a spouse who is financially reliant on you. Your spouse is the legal heir to your pension, and once you die, he or she will receive all of the benefits of your retirement plan. However, if you were a private employee and your retirement pension scheme had some rules and conditions that made transferring your pension to your wife difficult, you've come to the proper place. Read on to learn more about how your spouse can inherit your pension or retirement plan when you pass away.

Are Spouses Automatic Beneficiaries?

You may be entitled to a portion or the entire amount of your spouse's or wife's or husband’s pension after they die. The type of pension your spouse received, the age at which he or she died, and your own age all play a role.

1. State Pension For The Spouse 

You may be entitled for supplementary pension payments if your spouse got a State Pension and you are beyond the State Pension age. The amount you get is based on your age as of April 6, 2016. If you were already earning a State Pension on April 6, 2016, you will be eligible to receive additional pension payments depending on your spouse's lifetime National Insurance contributions. If you reach the age of eligibility for the State Pension after April 6, 2016, you will be subject to the new State Pension laws.

This implies you have the option of inheriting all or part of your spouse's State Pension, Additional State Pension, and protected payment. You must meet particular conditions to be eligible for your spouse's new State Pension. Your marriage or civil partnership, for example, must have started before April 6, 2016. 
If you are eligible for your spouse's State Pension after they die, it will be paid in addition to your own. If you are not yet of State Pension age, you may be eligible for Bereavement Payments.

2. Private Pension After Your Death

It's possible that your spouse had their own private pension as well. This is usually a workplace pension or a personal pension plan established by your spouse on their own. If this is the case, the pension terms must be reconsidered. This is owing to the fact that each pension has its own set of rules. Certain pension programmes pay out a lump sum when the pension bearer dies. Others will keep making payments to the surviving spouse, albeit at a lower rate.

As a consequence, whether or not you receive any of your spouse's pension when they die is entirely dependent on the sort of pension in place when it comes to employment and private pensions. The Executor of the Will (or the Administrator if there is no Will) should contact the pension provider and inquire about the next procedures. The Executor or Administrator will be in charge of transferring or paying out the pension funds to the beneficiaries.

3. Provision of Pension After Death

If a close one has suddenly died and you are concerned about what will happen to their assets, such as their pension, insurance companies can help. Many insurance companies specialise in Probate and Estate administration, and they can help you with the next stages in obtaining your spouse's pension plan.


If your spouse has been completely reliant on you during your working career and afterwards, it's only natural that they will continue to rely on you once you retire. As a result, it is strongly advised that you review all of the terms and conditions of your pension so that your spouse can become the automatic beneficiary and continue to receive benefits after your death.

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Disclaimer: This article is issued in the general public interest and meant for general information purposes only. Readers are advised not to rely on the contents of the article as conclusive in nature and should research further or consult an expert in this regard.

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