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Pensions & benefits advice

Widows benefit

(12 Posts)
Elliebeth Sat 06-Nov-21 12:36:57

I live with my partner, we have been together nearly 30 years but have not married. We both have a full state pension and he has a small works pension. If one of us was to die would we be financially better off if we were to marry. The house is in joint names as are the bank accounts. If he were to die before me I would struggle to keep the house going . I know I would get the widows payment for the first year but would there be any advantages if we were married going forward. Sorry if this sounds grabby but we have lost a family member each year for the last four years and it has made me wonder how I would manage. Thanks for reading

rosie1959 Sat 06-Nov-21 12:50:24

My dad remarried in later years they decided to get married in the event of anything happening to him
As it was he sadly died leaving her alone but she has the benefit of his final salary pension which pays all the household bills with some left over this would have not been possible had they not married and she would have received nothing The pension was slightly decreased upon his death but is still quite a bit per month

Germanshepherdsmum Sat 06-Nov-21 15:17:44

I think you need to get some advice about what if any State benefits you would get if your partner died. I confess I have no idea but the DWP might have a website with information on it, otherwise try Age UK. You need to find out from your husband’s private pension provider whether you would continue to get anything from it and whether that differs according to whether or not you are married.
I hope you have both made wills to ensure that you inherit from one another. The survivor of you would automatically inherit the house if you hold it as joint tenants but not, if you unmarried, if you hold it as tenants in common unless there is a will leaving the deceased’s share to the survivor. So do check that out.

PippaZ Sun 07-Nov-21 16:10:17

If you are married or in a civil partnership and one of you dies, then the survivor may be entitled to some Additional State Pension based on the National Insurance record of their partner. This was from a site called "Money Helper"

From what the article says, if you were both drawing your pensions before 6th April, 2016 and the survivor is on a low income you may have your partners pension contribution used to raise yours.

I do think this is worth going to a good and reputable resource such as Citizen's Advice though. Nothing is ever simple with these things, sadly.

H1954 Sun 07-Nov-21 16:14:05

Can your partner nominate you as beneficiary of his survivor pension? We aren't married but we have nominated one another, it's only a percentage of the current pension payment but it will pay some bills.

grannyactivist Sun 07-Nov-21 16:20:31

When websites, especially government ones, refer to spouse or partner they are often only referring to people who are in a legal civil partnership. An acquaintance of mine has recently been caught out by this (I had raised it with her many, many, times in group discussions) and has discovered she is not entitled to her late partner’s pension as they were unmarried and had no legal partnership.

PippaZ’s advice is sound - check it out with CA or Age UK.

welbeck Sun 07-Nov-21 16:24:04

when you say you would get a widow's payment for one year, what is that, is it an occupational pension ?

Germanshepherdsmum Sun 07-Nov-21 16:35:56

A quick google tells me that what is now called the Bereavement Support Payment, payable for 18 months, can only be claimed by someone whose spouse or civil partner has died. Not sure what OP means when she says she knows she‘would get the widow’s payment for a year’ . I don’t think so. Certainly not the BSP.

Esspee Sun 07-Nov-21 17:24:58

Is there a reason why you have not married OP? If not you need to both consider that you are in a poor legal position when one of you goes. That’s easily sorted. A no fuss wedding or civil partnership is cheap and simple with no need to tell anyone.

If either of you have children then they are your next of kin. This could potentially make things very difficult for the survivor.

To get a widow’s benefit you have to have been a wife. You are not. You need to get this discussed ASAP.

Pammie1 Mon 08-Nov-21 23:15:38

The bereavement Support Payment is also taxable, so you need to make sure it’s reflected in your tax code. The DWP will notify HMRC that it’s in payment but it’s up to your employer or pension provider to apply the appropriate tax coding from HMRC. I claimed BSP after my husband died and after 18 months, when the benefit ceased, HMRC wrote to me to say I had underpaid tax as my pension provider had failed to apply the new tax coding, and I ended up owing over £1000.

Elliebeth Mon 15-Nov-21 16:18:50

Thank you all for taking the time to reply and my apologies for not replying soon. I think it must be the bereavement support payment i was thinking about which i know is only payable if you are married. I am not in a good place at the moment having recently lost my brother and i think it brought home to me how things can change very suddenly. I think i need to contact age concern or the citizens advice as was suggested. Thanks again

Germanshepherdsmum Mon 15-Nov-21 17:54:43

So sorry to hear about your brother Elliebeth. It was kind of you to come back. I do hope you and your partner can get things sorted out soon. It will give you peace of mind.💐