A woman in receipt of widow’s pension has various options on reaching State pension age (currently 60). She can choose to continue receiving her widow’s pension up to the age of 65, she can choose to claim her state pension in place of the widow’s pension, or she can give up her widow’s pension and not draw her state pension in order to earn a higher state pension or lump sum when she does claim it.
Our records show that just over 20,000 women aged 60 to 64 are receiving widow’s pension.
DWP Information Directorate: Work and Pensions Longitudinal Study
Four months and four days before a person reaches age 60/65, the National Insurance Recording System (NIRS) passes personal and contributions details to the Pensions Strategy Computer System (PSCS) which will set up a pension account if a current address is held and:
(a) the first contribution condition for basic State Pension is satisfied with entitlement of at least 25 per cent. basic State Pension.
(b) there is entitlement to Additional State Pension, Shared Additional State Pension or GRB;
(c) the person is a widow, widower or divorcee (including an annulled marriage), regardless of entitlement in their own right; or
(d) PSCS issues a claim package.
The claims package consists of:
1. leaflet BR33 SPIB that invites the customer to contact the Pension Service to make a claim over the phone, request claim form BR1 over the phone or return a tear-off for claim form BR1 to be issued;
2. a BR33R which contains:
(a) identity details;
(b) the choices on how to claim State Pension;
(c) details of the information the customer needs to have close to hand when contacting the Pension Service by telephone.