Spouses and civil partners
Spouses and civil partners who have not paid sufficient contributions may receive a pension based on their partners’ contributions. That pension could be up to 60% of their partners’ BSP and would be payable from their State Pension Age (SPA). Husbands’ and civil partners’ eligibility came into force on 6 April 2010. It should be noted that under the new Flat Rate State Pension proposals this will no longer be possible.
Other points to remember about the BSP
Credits towards the BSP may be granted to the following groups who are unable to work in a particular tax year:
- People aged 16 to 18
- Credits for people in full-time training
If a person is aged over 18 and in full-time training, they should get credits. This is provided the training is approved and does not last longer than a year. Government sponsored courses are approved automatically. This does not apply to university students.
- Credits for parents and carers
A person may get credits if they are:
- getting Child Benefit for a child under 12
- a registered foster carer
- caring for one or more sick or disabled people for at least 20 hours a week
- Credits for people who are unemployed but looking for work
If a person is unemployed but looking for work they may get credits, provided they are:
- claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance
- available for and actively searching for work but not in education or doing paid work for 16 hours or more
- Credits for people who are ill, disabled or on maternity leave
If a person is unable to work because of illness, disability or maternity, they should be entitled to credits. They need to be claiming one of the following:
- Incapacity Benefit/ Employment and Support Allowance
- Maternity Allowance
- Statutory Sick Pay
- Unemployability Supplement or Allowance
- Credits for spouses of members of Her Majesty’s forces
If a person is married to, or in a registered civil partnership with, a member of Her Majesty’s forces and you accompany them on an overseas posting, they may not be paying UK National Insurance. This may mean they have gaps in their National Insurance record that could affect their entitlement to a full basic State Pension. For postings on or after 6 April 2010, they should be able to apply for a National Insurance credit which could boost their State Pension.
Division of the Basic State Pension on divorce
The Basic State Pension cannot be shared on divorce.
If a person on divorce does not have a full National Insurance contribution record up until that time, they may apply to substitute the National Insurance record of their former spouse for their own record in relation to all tax years during their working life up to the end of the tax year in which the marriage ended or the end of the tax year before they reach State Pension Age (SPA), whichever comes first. This process is referred to as Pension Substitution and is a benefit which needs to be claimed rather than being granted automatically.
If the ex spouse subsequently remarries they will lose the benefit of any Pension Substitution top up, unless the remarriage occurs after their State Pension has already come into payment.