How do the State Pension rules apply to married couples?
Each of spouses or civil partners is entitled to a full basic State Pension (BSP), irrespectively of his or her spouse’s or civil partner’s BSP.
If you have not built up 30 qualifying years to receive the full basic State Pension (BSP), you can improve your basic State Pension using your spouse’s or civil partner’s National Insurance Contribution record. It is possible if all of the following conditions have been met:
- You are married or in a civil partnership
- Your spouse or civil partner was born on or after 6 April 1950
- Your spouse or civil partner is entitled to some basic State Pension (BSP)
- You are both over your State Pension Age (SPA)
The amount of the State Pension you can get entirely depends on your spouse’s or civil partner’s NIC record. At the most, you can top up your basic State Pension up to 60 per cent of the full basic State Pension (BSP). In 2010-11, 60 per cent of the full basic State Pension is £58.50 a week.
The above rules apply to both married women and men. You do not have to be living with your spouse or civil partner to use his or her NIC record to increase your BSP. You even do not have to wait until your spouse or civil partner starts claiming his or her basic State Pension (BSP), provided you and your spouse are over State Pension Age (SPA).
You can use your spouse’s or civil partner’s National Insurance Contribution record to top up your basic State Pension even if:
- You are divorced
- Your marriage has been legally annulled
- Your civil partnership has been dissolved
Only if you remarry or enter a new civil partnership, you can no longer use this option to increase your basic State Pension.
If you are going to use your spouse’s record, you should contact Capital Business Links Ltd as soon as possible. Our experts will advise you on all financial and tax aspects of your plans. For more information about our service for pensioners or to arrange a meeting with one of our consultants, please contact us on telephone number 0208 567 99 44 or at our e-mail address.