I reach retirement age next January. My husband died 6 years ago at the age of 56 having paid NI since the age of 18. I should qualify for the full pension in my own right. What happens to all the money he paid in?
Given that you are entitled to a full Basic State Pension (BSP) in your own right then you will have no entitlement to a BSP based on your late husband's record.
But what happens to his National Insurance Contributions? The National Contributions paid in by your husband would not have paid his own BSP directly, but instead just given him entitlement to a BSP. So in effect they are lost
However you may be entitled to inherit part of your late husband's additional State Second Pension. Again this will depend on your own additional State Second Pension and full details can be found here.
Finally, you may also be entitled to Bereavement Benefits. The link will take you to the Directgov's explanation of the benefits available.
I hope that helps
Money to the Masses