Can I set up a joint pension?

My husband is a stay-at-home father to our four children while I go out to work, but I’m not sure what will happen when he comes to retire.

I’m part of my employer’s pension scheme and am earning National Insurance contributions towards the state pension, but my husband isn’t making any provisions because he stays at home. I was wondering if I could set up a joint pension for both of us so we can both have an income when we’re older?

Question asked by Mrs M James
Are You Pension Happy?
Call us on 02084327334
I know how much my pension is worth
I know how much my pension costs
I have clear financial goals for my retirement

Answered by Michael Englefield

Are there joint pension plans for married couples?

The short answer is no, there aren’t joint pension schemes for married couples. Pensions are held in separate names, not joint names.

Joint annuity

However, once you reach the age of 55, you have the option to use your retirement savings to buy a joint annuity. This is an income for life, which will be paid to a designated dependant, usually your spouse or partner, after you die.


You can choose how much income you want them to receive as a percentage of the annuity that you receive during your lifetime. This can be anything up to 100% of the income you get.

Bear in mind that with a joint pension, your starting income will be lower than if you’d opted to buy an annuity solely for yourself.

The biggest risk of opting for joint annuities is that if the dependant you’ve designated to receive an income dies first, you’ll have a lower income for the remainder of your life.

National Insurance credits to get the full state pension

If you’re currently receiving child benefit, your husband may be entitled to some National Insurance credits for the time he has spent out of work caring for your children, which could help him build up entitlement to the full state pension.

Paying into a private pension if you’re not working

Your husband could also choose to start his own private or personal pension, even though he doesn’t work. He’ll still receive tax relief at 20% on his contributions, even though he doesn’t pay tax. If he does set one of these up, the maximum he can pay in is £3,600 a year, made up of his contributions of £2,880 and topped up by a HMRC’s contribution of £720.

Personal pension
National Insurance contributions
Retirement income
This information does not constitute financial or other professional advice. You should consult your professional adviser or contact us directly on 02084327333 should you require financial advice. It is important to ensure any insurance policy you take out is suitable for your needs.
Start your journey today...
  Find out how a Drewberry financial adviser can help you reach your destination by making the most of your finances.
Call us on 

Frequently Asked Pensions Advice Questions

Do you get National Insurance relief on pension contributions just as you get...
Is there a tax allowance for personal pensions like with gross income? How much am I allowed to contribute...
I smoke around 15 cigarettes per day. I’ve been charged more for Life Insurance in the past because...
I want to make sure that I get the most out of my pension, how can I compare different plans to help...
Need Help? Live chat now and get an instant answer from our Experts...


Our Latest Reviews
Mark France

Josh at Drewberry was extremely helpful and friendly in answering my many questions about the policy before I went ahead.

Mark Walters

Drewberry was the only website I could find that would give me an indicative Relevant Life cover quote. Victoria at Drewberry was very helpful throughout the whole application process.

Paula Cummings

They gave me good advice and weren’t pushy! I felt that I was getting what I asked for and I’m happy with the final product that I bought.

We are rated 4.9/5 based on 1966 independent client reviews.
To read more of our independent client reviews click here →
4.92 / 5 Average
1916 Reviews
Verified Buyer
Overall Rating
The whole process was a pleasure. Drewberry we're easy to deal with, polite, knowledgeable and helpful
Verified Buyer
Overall Rating
Very good, clear service would recommend to friends and family
Overall Rating
Sam Carr provided an efficient and professional service.
Verified Buyer
Overall Rating
Sam Carr provided a professional but enthusiastic service and helped make the whole process very straight forward. Goodness knows I have been through enough application forms recently. My insurance product was never going to be easy to find and I had been rejected on a number of other occasions through others ironically due to well managed common health conditions. I identified Drewberry in a last and disappointing trawl on th web to find someone that actually wanted to take on a difficult case like me. Some brokers wouldn't even consider me. When we applied for my first choice product Sam wasn't at all deterred by the long wait for my GP report or the final rejection that came back from the insurer, sadly I have become used to it. Within a day he had lined up the second choice and to my surprise he had hit the nail on the head and introduced me to the correct insurer and terms for my needs whilst nogotiating an excellent premium. I am extremely satisfied with what Sam has achieved for me and I would have no hesitation in recommending either him or Drewberry to friends, family and and business contacts. In the future, Drewberry will be my first point of contact. Many thanks!
Overall Rating
Tailored to my need and the staff gave very good service