‘can my wife inherit my state pension?’

Linda J. Dodson

Your wife’s state pension entitlement

It’s really important that your wife finds out more about her own entitlement to the state pension, based on her own NIC record. 

Normally NICs are paid when someone is working, whether they’re employed or self-employed, but it’s also possible to build up NIC credits for time spent out of the workplace, such as when claiming state benefits as a carer. Based on her own NIC record, your wife may find she’s entitled to a full or reduced amount of the new state pension, payable from her own SPA. 

On your death, she may also be entitled to receive bereavement benefits from the state. 

Inheriting private pensions

Your wife may be able to inherit any private pension you’ve built up. As a self-employed person, you are only likely to have an annuity, a stakeholder pension or a personal pension.

The options available on your death will depend on the rules that apply to each private pension you hold. Generally, you will find that benefits could be paid as a lump sum, as an annuity or there could be an option for funds to be passed on to your wife or other beneficiaries in a “drawdown” account. 

I suggest you contact your pension provider(s) and find out about the death benefits available.       

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