Survivors’ pension for surviving spouses and children

If your spouse passes away, the survivors’ pension helps secure an income. You are eligible for a surviving spouse’s pension and your underage children for an orphan’s pension.

When can I receive survivors’ pension?

If you are widowed, apply for survivors’ pension. You are eligible for the surviving spouse’s pension and your children under 18 years of age are eligible for orphan’s pension. You can receive the pension regardless of whether your spouse was an employee, self-employed or unemployed.

If your spouse died in an occupational accident or traffic accident, you can also receive compensation from his or her employer’s or company’s accident insurance company or the motor liability insurance company of the person who caused the accident. The compensation can reduce the survivors’ pension paid by Ilmarinen.

You can also receive compensation from the employees’ group life insurance. Apply for it to the Employees’ group life insurance pool.

You can also receive compensation from Kela. Read more about Kela's compensation.

If the deceased had worked abroad, you and your children may also receive survivors’ pension from his or her countries of employment.

Surviving spouse’s pension provides security for the surviving spouse

The condition for receiving the surviving spouse’s pension is that you were married or in a registered partnership or you received personal continuous child support from your ex-spouse. If you had a common-law marriage you will not receive surviving spouse’s pension even if you had children together.

If you have a child together

If you have or have had a child together and your marriage was contracted before your spouse turned 65, you are entitled to a surviving spouse’s pension.


If you do not have a child together

If you do not have or have not had a child together, you are eligible for a surviving spouse’s pension if:

  • you were at least 50 years old when your spouse died or you have received a disability pension for at least three years and
  • your marriage had lasted at least five years before your spouse’s death and
  • the marriage was contracted before you turned 50 and your spouse turned 65.

You may also receive the pension if you married after you turned 50. This is the case if you were born before 1 July 1950 and your marriage was in force on 1 July 1990.

Orphan’s pension brings security until the age of 18

Your spouse’s child under 18 years of age is entitled to orphan’s pension. He or she will receive the pension regardless of whether he or she lived with your spouse or not or whether he or she is a biological or adopted child. Foster children are not eligible for the pension.

Your child can also receive an orphan’s pension even if your deceased spouse was not his or her parent. This is the case if your child lived in the same household together with you and your spouse when your spouse died. However, your child may receive the orphan’s pension only if you and your spouse were married or in a registered partnership.

Apply for survivors’ pension conveniently in our MyPension service.

MyPension service

Amount of survivors’ pension

The survivors’ pension is based on your spouse’s earnings-related pension. The amount of survivors’ pension is affected by your earnings-related pension cover and the number of children. 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 your family, the larger the survivors’ pension. If you have no children, the survivors’ pension consists solely of the surviving spouse’s pension and is thus at most half of the maximum survivors’ pension.

The table illustrates how the number of children affects the survivors’ pension. 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.

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 orphan's pensions - 4/12 7/12 9/12 10/12
Total survivors' pension 6/12 10/12 12/12 12/12 12/12

 

The amount of your surviving spouse’s pension will be adjusted when

  • you are over 65 years old or you receive your own earnings-related pension and you do not have children under 18 years of age; your surviving spouse’s pension may be reduced immediately when it begins.
  • you are not yet drawing your own earnings-related pension and you do not have children under 18 years of age; your surviving spouse’s pension may be reduced six months after it began.
  • your family has one or more children receiving orphan’s pension who lived with you and your spouse when your spouse died; your surviving spouse’s pension will not be reduced until the youngest child turns 18.
  • you begin drawing your own earnings-related pension.

How much your surviving spouse’s pension will be reduced depends on how much earnings-related pension you receive currently or will receive in the future. If your own earnings-related pension is large, it is possible that you will not receive survivors’ pension at all.

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

Full surviving spouse's pension, €/month

Surviving spouse's own earnings-related pension, €/KK

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

262

162

 0

0

0

0

0

 0

0

0

1 000

500

500

462

362

112

0

0

0

 0

0

0

1 500

750

750

712 

612

362

112

0

0

0

 0

0

0

2 000

1 000

1 000

962

862

612

362

112

0

0

 0

0

0

2 500

1 250

1 250

1 212

1 112

862

612

362

112

0

 0

0

0

3 000

1 500

1 500

1 462

1 362

1 112

862

612

362

112

 0

0

0

3 500

1 750

1 750

1 712

1 612 1 362

1 112

862

612

362

 112

0

0

4 000

2 000

2 000

1 962

1 862

1 612

1 362

1 112

862

 612

 362

112

0

4 500

2 250

2 250

2 212

2 112

 1 862

1 612

1 362

1 112

 862

 612

362

112

5 000

2 500

2 500

2 462

2 362

 2 112

1 862

1 612

1 362

 1 112

 862

612

362

5 000

2 500

2 500

2 462

2 362

 2 112

1 862

1 612

1 362

 1 112

 862

612

362

Payment and taxation of pensions

Pension is paid on the first banking day of each month. Pension is taxable income. You need to order a tax card for pension from the tax authority.

Read more about the payment of pensions

MyPension service

In the MyPension service, you can apply for pension, change your account number and print out a pension certificate or send messages.

Take a look at the MyPension service