A Widow's, Widower's or Surviving Civil Partner’s (Non-Contributory)
Pension is a means-tested payment payable to a widow, widower or surviving
civil partner who does not qualify for a contributory widow's, widower's or
surviving civil partner’s payment. (This payment was formerly called the
Widow's/Widower's (Non-Contributory) Pension).
It is is a payment for widows, widowers or surviving civil partners who
do not have dependent children. People with dependent children
should apply for the One-Parent Family Payment.
You transfer to State
Pension (Non-Contributory) when you reach 66 years of age. This pension
is taxable but you are unlikely to pay tax if it is your only income.
In order to qualify you must, of course, be a widow, widower or surviving
civil partner and you must not be cohabiting with another person. You can keep
your entitlement to this pension if you are divorced or your civil partnership
has been dissolved, and you would have been entitled to this pension had you
remained married or in the civil partnership.
You must also:
The means test
Your means are any income you have or property (except your own home) or an
asset that could bring in money or provide you with an income.
Your means are assessed using specific rules under the following
- Cash income (including, income from work)
- Value of capital (for example, savings, investments, cash on hand and
property but not your own home)
- Income from property personally used
Cash income and income from work
Any cash income you have is assessed in the means test. This includes income
from a social security pension from another country. However, certain items of
cash income are not taken into account in the means test. For example, earnings
of up to €100 per week from employment (but not self-employment) are not
taken into account. Any income from work above €100 is assessed as means.
More information is available in our document about cash
income not taken into account in the means test.
Home help income: From January 2012 any income you get from
working as a home help for the HSE is taken into account in the means test.
Capital and property not personally used
Savings, investments, cash on hand and any property you own (but not your
own home) is assessed as capital. All your capital from different sources is
added together and a special formula is then used to find your weekly means
The property and investments that may be assessed under this heading include
savings in a bank account (or anywhere else), a house that you have let and
stocks and shares. You may or may not be getting an income from the property or
investment. Income from property already assessed on its capital value is not
assessed in the means test - see cash income above.
More information is available in our document on how
capital and property is assessed as means.
Income from property personally used (your home)
The value of the house you live in is not taken into account in the means
test. However, any income you are getting from it is taken into account. For
example, if you rented a room in your house, that income is assessed. There is
an exception to this, if not renting the room means that you would be living
alone then your income from rent is not taken into account.
Your means under the various headings are added together to see what level
of pension, if any, you can get.
The first €7.60 per week of means as assessed by the Department of Social
Protection does not affect the rate of pension. After that, the pension is
reduced by €2.50 each week for every €2.50 of means.
Rate of payment in 2013:
|Widow's, Widower's or Surviving Civil
Partner’s (Non-Contributory) Pension
||Weekly rate (max)
|Widow, widower or surviving civil partner
If you are getting a Widow's, Widower's or Surviving Civil Partner's
Non-Contributory Pension you may qualify for a Fuel
Allowance (if you are living alone or with certain 'specified' people).
If you are aged 60 to 65 and your late spouse or civil partner was getting
Household Benefits Package at the time of their death, you may qualify for the
You may also qualify for help with funeral expenses and rent or mortgage
payments under the Supplementary
Welfare Allowance Scheme.
Where to apply
Department of Social Protection
Social Welfare Services
Opening Hours:This office does not offer a service to personal callers. All queries must be made using the online enquiry form, by telephone or in writing.
Tel:(071) 915 7100
Locall:1890 500 000
You can email the Widow's, Widower's or Surviving Civil Partner’s
(Non-Contributory) Pension section using the secure enquiry form. If
you wish to talk to someone face-to-face about your pension entitlements, you
can visit your local Citizens Information centre, social welfare local office
or Intreo centre.