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Widows pension in Northern Ireland

Information applies to: Northern Ireland

Widow's Pension in Northern Ireland is payable to childless widows aged 45 or over when their husband died.  This pension is payable to widows whose late husband died before 9/4/2001.  Widow's Pension is also payable to widows with children when their Widowed Mother's Allowance ends.  There are various rates of pension payable.

A woman can get Widow's Pension if her late husband met the National Insurance Contribution conditions and either:

  • she was 45 or over when her husband died and he died before 9/4/2001 and she does not get Widowed Mother's Allowance; or
  • she is 45 or over when her Widowed Mother's Allowance ends.

A woman cannot get Widow's Pension:

  • if she is divorced from her husband; or
  • if she remarries; or
  • while she is living with a man as his wife without being legally married to him; or
  • while she is in prison or held in legal custody.

Widow's Pension is made up of:

  • a basic pension which is related to the widow's age when she was widowed or when Widowed Mother's allowance ends; and
  • a variable earnings-related additional state pension which is based on the late husband's contribution record paid on his earnings from April 1978.

Providing her late husband has made sufficient National Insurance Contributions, a woman who is aged 55 or over when she is widowed prior to 9/4/2001, or when her Widowed Mother's Allowance ends, will get the full rate of basic pension. If she is under 55 she will get less than the full rate. If she is between 45 and 54 she will qualify for a percentage of the full rate. This percentage is fixed and does not increase with each birthday.

Further information:

For further information please visit - Widow's Pension  

About this information record ...

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Permalink: Widows pension in Northern Ireland
Themes: Live
Categories: Social Welfare
Life Events: Getting divorced, Bereavement
Target Groups: All
Last updated: 10 January 2011

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