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Does My Wife Get My Pension if I Die?

Published On Jul 29, 2021 4:00 PM By InsuranceDekho

The main aim of a pension plan is to secure you and your family’s future post your retirement and this most importantly includes your spouse who is dependent on you. Technically, your spouse is the legal heir of your pension and will receive all the benefits of your retirement plan after you die. However, if you were a private employee and there were some terms and conditions in your retirement pension scheme that can cause troubles in the transfer of your pension to your wife, then, you’re at the right place. Read to know more about how your wife (spouse) can get entitled to your pension plan/ retirement plan after your demise. 

Will My Wife Get My Pension if I Die?

When your spouse or wife dies, you may be entitled to a portion or the entire amount of their pension. This is mostly determined by the sort of pension your spouse received, the age at when he or she died, and your own age.

  • State Pension For Your Spouse 

If your spouse received a State Pension and you are over the State Pension age, you may be eligible for additional pension payments. The amount you receive is determined by your age on April 6, 2016. If you were already receiving a State Pension on April 6, 2016, you will be able to claim additional pension payments based on the amount of National Insurance contributions made by your spouse throughout their lifetime. However, if you reach the State Pension age after April 6, 2016, you will be subject to the new State Pension laws.

This means that you can inherit all or a portion of your spouse's State Pension, Additional State Pension, and safeguarded payment. To be eligible for your spouse's new State Pension, you must meet specific criteria. For example, your marriage or civil partnership must have begun before April 6, 2016. Also, if you remarry or join into another civil partnership before reaching State Pension age, you will not be able to inherit any of your spouse's State Pension.

However, if you are entitled to your spouse's State Pension after their death, it will be paid in addition to your own State Pension. You may be entitled to claim Bereavement payments if you are not yet of State Pension age.

  • Private Pension After Your Death

Your spouse may have had their own private pension as well. This is usually a job pension or a personal pension scheme that your spouse set up on their own. If this is the case, the terms of the pension must be reviewed. This is due to the fact that different pensions will have different rules. When the pension holder dies, certain pension schemes will pay out a lump amount. Others will continue to make payments to the surviving spouse, but at a reduced rate.

As a result, when it comes to workplace and private pensions, whether or not you receive any of your spouse's pension when they die is totally dependent on the type of pension in place. The Executor of the Will (or the Administrator if no Will exists) should notify the pension provider of the death and inquire about the following steps. The Executor or Administrator will be responsible for ensuring that the pension money is transferred or paid out to beneficiaries.

  • Provision of Pension After Death

Insurance providers can assist you if a loved one has recently died and you are unsure what will happen to assets such as their pension. Many insurance companies specialise in Probate and Estate administration and can assist you on the next steps to acquiring your spouse's pension plan.


If your spouse is totally dependent on you throughout your working career and thereafter, it is quite understood that they will be dependent on you post retirement as well. Hence, it is strongly recommended that you should check all the terms and conditions of your pension so that your spouse can receive the benefits even after your demise.

Also read 

Why Retirement Planning is Important?

Should I Buy Retirement Insurance Plans in Online Mode or Offline Mode?

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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