Security for surviving spouse and children

The survivors’ pension helps when a spouse or parent passes away. It can be granted to the surviving spouse and children of an employee.

If you are widowed, apply for survivors’ pension. You will receive the surviving spouse’s pension and your children under 18 years of age will receive the child’s pension.

The survivors’ pension is based on the earnings-related pension of your spouse. You are eligible for survivors’ pension from the beginning of the month following the death of your spouse, but you must apply for it. Despite your sorrow, we advise that you apply for it as soon as possible because it can only be granted retroactively for a maximum of 6 months.

If your spouse has died in an occupational accident or traffic accident you can also receive compensation from his/her employer’s accident insurance company or the motor liability insurance company of the person who caused the accident. You can also receive compensation from the employees’ group life insurance and Kela.

Apply for surviving spouse´s pension and child’s pension from us to ensure that you receive your pension quickly. We will contact Kela and any other entities on your behalf.

Surviving spouse’s pension for surviving spouses

You will always receive survivors’ pension when the following three conditions are met:

  1. You were married to or in a registered partnership with your spouse.
  2. You had married before your spouse turned 65.
  3. You had children together, either biological or adopted. 

If you had a common-law marriage you will not receive surviving spouse’s pension even if you had children together. 

If you and your deceased spouse do not and did not have any children together, receiving surviving spouse’s pension is dependent on whether you had or had not turned 50 upon the death of your spouse. 

If you were more than 50 years old at the time of the death of your spouse, you will receive the pension provided that you had married prior to having turned 50 and that your marriage lasted at least 5 years. You may also receive the pension if you married after you turned 50. This is the case when you were born before 1 July 1950 and your marriage was in force on 1 July 1990. 

If you were less than 50 years of age on the death of your spouse, receiving surviving spouse’s pension is affected by any disability pension you may receive. You may receive the surviving spouse’s pension if you have received disability pension consecutively for at least three years prior to the death of your spouse and if your marriage lasted at least 5 years. 

As an ex-spouse you may receive surviving spouse’s pension if you received continuous child support from the deceased.

 

Child’s pension for children

The child, under the age of 18, either biological or adopted, of a deceased mother or father receives child’s pension. Receiving the pension is not dependent on whether the child lived with the deceased parent or not. Foster children are not eligible for child’s pension. 

The child of the surviving spouse may, however, receive child’s pension. This is the case when the child lived with his/her parent and step-mother or -father in the same household at the time of the step-parent’s death. The surviving spouse’s child may receive child’s pension only if the child’s parent and step-parent were married or in a registered partnership. 

When applying for child’s pension, fill out a separate application for each child. Even if you are not applying for surviving spouse’s pension for yourself, please fill out the application for surviving spouse’s pension. The application is required for calculating the pension.

 

Number of children and spouse’s income affect pension

The survivors’ pension is based on the earnings-related pension of your spouse. The survivors’ pension cannot amount to more than his/her earnings-related pension. The number of children and the surviving spouse’s income affect the amount of survivors’ pension. The amount of pension is not affected by your or your spouse’s national pension, voluntary pensions or assets of the estate. 

The more children under the age of 18 in the family, the larger the survivors’ pension. If there are no children, the survivors’ pension consists solely of the surviving spouse’s pension and is thus half of the maximum survivors’ pension. The table below illustrates how the survivors’ pension is formulated. The pension is divided into 12 parts, whereby the fraction 12/12 is the full survivors’ pension and 6/12 is half of the pension. 

 

Number of minor children and size of survivors’   pension

Pension

No children

1 child

2 children

3 children

4 or more children

Surviving spouse’s pension

6/12

6/12

5/12

3/12

2/12

Total child’s pensions

-

4/12

7/12

9/12

10/12

Total survivors’ pension

6/12

10/12

12/12

12/12

12/12

The survivors’ pension is also affected by the surviving spouse’s income that he/she earns from work. This income is your earned income and your current and future earnings-related pension. 

Your income only affects the surviving spouse’s pension, not the child’s pension. Your income does not affect the surviving spouse’s pension if your family has one child or more receiving child’s pension who lived with you and your spouse when your spouse passed away. When the youngest of these children turns 18 your surviving spouse’s pension may become smaller.  

The table below illustrates how your income affects your surviving spouse’s pension. 

Spouse's

earnings-

related

pension, €/month

Full

surviving

spouse's

pension, €/month

Surviving spouse's earnings-related pension, €/month

600

800 

1 000

 1 500

2 000

 2 500

3 000

3 500

4 000

4 500

5 000
FINAL SURVIVING SPOUSE'S PENSION, €/MONTH

 600

300

300

254

154

 0

0

0

0

0

 0 0 0

1 000

500

500

454

354

104

0

0

0

 0 0 0

1 500

750

750

704 

604

354

104

0

0

0

 0 0 0

2 000

1 000

1 000

954

854

604

354

104

0

0

 0 0 0

2 500

1 250

1 250

1 204

1 104

854

604

354

104

0

 0 0 0

3 000

1 500

1 500

1 454

1 354

1 104

854

604

354

104  0 0 0

3 500

1 750

1 750

1 704

1 604

1 354

1 104

854

604

 354  104 0 0

4 000

2 000

2 000

1954

1 854

1 604

1 354

1 104

854

 604 354 104 0

4 500

2 250

2 250

2 204

2 104

 1 854

1 604

1 354

1 104

854 604 354 104

5 000

2 500

2 500

2 454

2 354

 2 104

1 854

1 604

1 354

1 104  854 604 354


When does survivors’ pension begin and end?

The right to receive surviving spouse’s pension begins at the beginning of the month following the death of your spouse. Also the right to receive child’s pension begins at the beginning of the month following the death of the mother or father. 

You will receive surviving spouse’s pension for the rest of your life if your income does not change significantly. A new marriage or registered partnership also affects the surviving spouse’s pension. If you remarry or register a new partnership while under the age of 50 your surviving spouse’s pension will end entirely. If you remarry after you have turned 50, you will continue to receive surviving spouse’s pension as before, as is also the case if you enter into a common-law marriage at any age. 

Children receive child’s pension until they turn 18. Kela can, however, continue to pay child’s pension after this if the child is a student between the ages of 18 and 20.