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The number of people getting married in later life is increasing and the majority of those are remarriages after a divorce or bereavement.

Getting married can be an exciting and emotional time but there are also some key practical issues to consider when remarrying or forming a new civil partnership. Taking some time to think about your finances can save a lot of heartache for you and your family in the future.

Your benefits

If you marry, register a civil partnership or live with someone as a couple, any means-tested benefits you receive, such as Universal Credit, Pension Credit, Housing Benefit (Rate Relief in Northern Ireland) or Council Tax Support, may be affected. This is because your partner’s income is included as part of the overall assessment. Notify the office that pays your benefits as soon as possible.

Your State Pension

You are allowed to use your ex-partner’s National Insurance record for your basic State Pension if it means you’d receive a higher pension as a result. However, if you remarry or register a new civil partnership before you reach State Pension age, you lose this right. If you remarry or register a new civil partnership after State Pension age, you will not lose any State Pension based on your previous partner’s NI contributions record.

Widows, widowers and surviving civil partners can also inherit some or all of their late partner’s additional pension or graduated retirement benefit, but lose this right if they remarry or register a new civil partnership before State Pension age. If you remarry or register a new civil partnership after State Pension age, you will not lose a State Pension based on your previous partner’s NI contributions record.

The State Pension is changing and the new State Pension will apply to you if you are:

  • A woman born on or after 6 April 1953
  • A man born on or after 6 April 1951.

Find out more here.

Your private pension

If you’re a member of a company pension scheme and you decide to remarry or form a new civil partnership, you may want to change the nominated beneficiary for your pension. This is the person who receives any benefits from the scheme if you die.

Your will

Remarrying or entering a new civil partnership will invalidate any existing wills you have, but a divorce or civil partnership dissolution will not. You can add a clause to your will to prevent it being cancelled by your remarriage, but you may prefer to make a fresh will to reflect your new circumstances. See our page on wills for more information.

Maintenance

If you are receiving any maintenance (for yourself as opposed to any children) from your ex-partner, this will stop when you remarry. It can also happen if you co-habit. Child support will not be affected.

For more information: Call Age UK Advice: 0800 169 2081