How is a partner's pension worked out?

Death in service

If you were to die whilst in service an ongoing pension is provided for your spouse, registered civil partner or, subject to certain qualifying conditions, your eligible cohabiting partner. This pension is payable immediately after your death for the rest of their life and will increase every year in line with the cost of living. The pension benefits payable are generally calculated as below:

For your spouse (from an opposite sex or same sex marriage) or civil partner

Your membership from 1 April 2014 1/160th of the pensionable pay or assumed pensionable pay you received in each year plus a proportion of any transfer of pension rights credited to your pension account plus,
an enhancement equal to 1/160th of your assumed pensionable pay for each year of membership you would have built up from your date of death to your Normal Pension Age.
Your membership up to 31 March 20141/160th of your final pay X the period of your membership up to 31 March 2014

For your eligible cohabiting partner

Your membership from 1 April 2014 1/160th of the pensionable pay or assumed pensionable pay you received in each year plus a proportion of any transfer of pension rights credited to your pension account plus,
an enhancement equal to 1/160th of your assumed pensionable pay for each year of membership you would have built up from your date of death to your Normal Pension Age.
Your membership up to 31 March 20141/160th of your final pay X the period of your membership from 6 April 1988 up to 31 March 2014, plus any membership before 6 April 1988 if you elected to pay additional contributions to make it count*

*An election to pay to additional contributions to make membership before 6 April 1988 count towards the calculation of cohabiting partner's pension must have been made before 1 April 2014.

For a cohabiting partner to be entitled to receive a survivor's pension your relationship has to meet certain conditions laid down by the LGPS. For information about these conditions use the find out more buttons on the previous page.

Paying extra

  • if you are paying, or have paid, additional contributions to buy extra LGPS pension by paying Additional Pension Contributions (APCs) (or Shared Cost Additional Pension Contributions (SCAPCs)) these will not count towards the value of any partner's pension as they only count towards your pension.
  • if you elected before 1 April 2014 to pay Additional Regular Contributions (ARCs) then, provided you opted to pay for dependant's benefits when you took out your original contract, extra benefits will be payable to your spouse, civil partner or eligible cohabiting partner. If you were still paying the ARCs at the date of death you will be deemed to have completed all payments. If you did not opt to pay for dependant's benefits when you took out your original ARC contract, then no extra benefits will be payable.
  • if you elected before 1 April 2008 to buy LGPS added years of membership you will be credited on your death with the whole extra period of membership that you set out to buy, even if you have not completed full payment for it. This will increase the value of the benefits payable for your spouse, civil partner or eligible cohabiting partner.
  • if you elected before 1 April 2014 to buy extra cohabiting partner survivor benefits, then the whole of your pre 6 April 1988 membership that you were paying additional contributions for will be included in calculating any survivor pension payable to an eligible cohabiting partner, even if you have not completed full payment for it.
  • if you are paying Additional Voluntary Contributions (AVCs) arranged through the LGPS (in-house AVCs) the value of your AVC fund is payable as is the value of any extra life cover pension for your spouse, civil partner or eligible cohabiting partner paid for through AVCs.

If your pension is subject to a Pension Sharing Order issued by the Court following an earlier divorce or dissolution of a civil partnership, or is subject to a qualifying agreement in Scotland, your spouse's, civil partner's or eligible cohabiting partner's pension will be reduced because of that Court Order or agreement. For more information see the section on pensions & divorce/dissolution..