An adult dependant’s pension is payable to an eligible:

  • spouse
  • civil partner
  • qualifying scheme partner

A qualifying scheme partner is a partner who you’re living with who you’re not married or in a civil partnership with or but meets the eligibility criteria on the Partner Nomination form (PN1)

If you’re married or in a civil partnership when you die, your partner would automatically be eligible for an adult dependent pension.

If you’re living with a partner but are not married or in a civil partnership, they would not be automatically entitled to these benefits.

You can nominate your partner to receive death benefits if:

  • you’ve contributed to the Scheme on or after 1 April 2008
  • you and your partner have lived together in an exclusive long-term relationship for at least 2 years
  • you and your partner are free to marry or enter into a civil partnership
  • you and your partner are financially interdependent

If you have membership on or after 1 April 2008, the adult dependant pension is payable for life.

If you left the Scheme before 1 April 2008, the adult dependant pension will end if they:

  • remarry
  • form a civil partnership
  • live with someone else as a spouse or civil partner

The person receiving the adult dependant pension must contact us if they enter a new partnership.

Read more information on death benefit nominations on our website.

How is an adult dependant’s pension calculated

The amount will depend on the Scheme or Section you're in. 

It also depends on if at the time of death you were actively contributing, deferred, or in receipt of your NHS Pension. 

If the adult dependant pension is less than £260 a year, it’ll automatically be converted to a one-off payment. This is known as trivial commutation.

If the pension is £260 or more a year, the pension is automatically authorised as a monthly pension.

It’s possible to convert to a one-off payment if the gross trivial commutation amount does not exceed the £30,000 limit. 

Read about how the adult dependant's pension is calculated for each Section or Scheme in the Survivor's Guide.


To nominate a partner to receive an adult dependant's pension after your death, complete a PN1 form.

If you want to amend an existing nomination, you must submit a new PN1 form.

If you want to cancel an existing nomination, complete an existing nomination cancellation (NOM1) form.

You must only complete these forms if your Scheme membership started on or after 1 April 2008 or continued after 31 March 2008.