What's a Widow's Pension?

Lost Your Spouse? The Guide to Understanding Widows Pensions

When a person dies, many things need to be taken care of. One of the first issues is whether or not the spouse will receive a widow's pension. The term "widow's pension" refers to any financial aid given to widows or widowers who have been left without an income when their spouse died. This article covers what you need to know about this benefit, including how it works & who qualifies for it.

What’s a Widow’s Pension?

How Much Is A Widow’s Pension?

A widow’s pension is a monthly payment that varies depending on the age of the widowed spouse.

I can explain.

For example, if you are under 65 years old when your husband dies, and your income does not exceed £15,000 per year (equivalent to $25,600), then you can expect to receive anywhere from £126.00-£243.35 ($193-$344) each month in financial aid for up to two years following his death.

If you are over 65 at the time of death or have an annual household income higher than £15,000 (£25,600 equivalent), then this limit will be reduced by 20% for every additional birthday; meaning a person who was born four days before their 67th birthday would only be entitled to £76.30 ($114) a month.

Bereavement Allowance

Bereavement Allowance

Let have a closer look:

It is a form of financial assistance given to individuals who have experienced the death of their spouse. This allowance can be applied by applying and all necessary documents, including a marriage certificate1, a letter from a GP or employer with details about employment status at the date of notification, and proof showing receipt of benefits following bereavement (if applicable).

The amount provided will depend on whether you are single or your partner has died; if it was not only one partner who passed away but both, then there may also be certain protections that apply.

Here’s how:

For example, late spouses’ contributory pension benefit provides survivors (such as children) with £180 per week when they reach 16 years old (£90 per week under this age). In contrast, surviving civil partners’ pension provides for the recipient to receive £120 per week (£60 in the case of a spouse).

Bereavement Support Payment

It can be claimed for a maximum of 52 weeks, while bereavement benefit can only be claimed up to 12 months.


If you are single and your partner has died, then it will depend on when they passed away as to whether or not you qualify. If the person in question was over pension age (currently 65) at the time of death, then there is no entitlement; if under that age but more prolonged than two years from reaching retirement eligibility, then widow’s allowance may apply (£94 per week).

However, if neither condition applies – i.e. both partners were younger than 65 and less than two years from becoming eligible – widows’ contributory pension would provide £180 per week until the youngest reaches retirement date. Child Benefit2 also continues after their parent’s death.

Bereavement Payment

It is not a pension but is instead given to help with the immediate costs of bereavement.

Bereavement benefit may be obtained if all conditions are met: both partners must have been over 60 and earning less than £31,500 (or under that age but at least 25 years into their working life).

A dependent child means an unmarried son or daughter living in the family home when your partner died. The surviving civil partner’s (contributory) pension would depend on how many contributions had been made before death, as well as whether children were being cared for by one of them – where they would each receive half of what you could get.

Widowed Parent's Allowance

Widowed Parent’s Allowance

A widowed parent’s allowance is a pension paid by the government to married couples with children.

The payment starts when one partner dies and ends once the youngest child leaves school or reaches 18, whichever happens first; it will not be affected if you remarry.

Can I Get A Widow's Pension

Can I Get A Widow’s Pension?

You can only get a widow’s pension if you meet all the following conditions:

  • Your deceased partner was receiving either a state retirement pension or national insurance credits.
  • You were married to them for at least one year before their death, and they died so long ago that it is not possible to make any new contributions under this scheme.
  • Or your relationship was registered as a civil partnership at least two years before your partner’s death, even if you are now separated from them or in another type of marriage (including a civil partnership).
  • Your partner died before the age of 75.
  • You have not remarried or entered a civil partnership since your spouse’s death unless you do so within six months from their death and keep that marriage or relationship going for at least two years – in these cases, you would be eligible to get a widow’s pension but only if it is made on top of any other benefits you are getting (including Child Benefit) as well as National Insurance credits.

You must also provide evidence to show:

  • That when they were alive, your deceased partner was receiving either state retirement pension or national insurance credits; AND
  • That they had reached the minimum qualifying period by paying contributions under this scheme.
  • You are also eligible for a widow’s pension if you have two or more children who live with you and your spouse was receiving either a state retirement pension or national insurance credits.

Got Questions? Check These First

Does a widow get her husband's pension?

Who qualifies for a widow's pension?

How does a widow pension work?

How to apply for a widows pension?

In conclusion

In short,

A widow’s pension is a type of benefit that some governments offer to the surviving spouse or partner of someone who has died. It provides them with an income even if they cannot work, and it can provide support for their family as well. The amount will vary depending on where you live in the world, so be sure you speak to your local government about what options are available before making any decisions about how best to manage this difficult time in your life.

What’s a Widow’s Pension?

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