Survivors’ pension

Survivors’ pension will secure your income in the event of the death of a spouse or parent.

Survivors’ pension is payable to the surviving spouse (in marriage or registered partnership) and to children under the age of 18. The former spouse of the decedent is also eligible for survivors’ pension if the decedent was liable to pay alimony to the former spouse. An unmarried partner is not eligible for survivors’ pension.

An individual application must be completed for each child when applying for child’s pension.

Surviving spouse’s right to survivors’ pension

You are eligible for survivors’ pension when the following three conditions are met:

  • you and your spouse were married or in a registered partnership
  • the marriage or registration of the partnership took place before your spouse turned 65
  • you have/had common children with your spouse.

In the absence of a common child the below further requirements apply:

  • you were aged 50 or older or had been on disability pension for at least three years at the time of your spouse’s death
    and
  • the marriage or registered partnership was entered into before you turned 50 and had lasted at least five years.

A former spouse may receive survivors’ pension if paid ongoing alimony by the decedent.

 

Child’s right to survivors’ pension

Child’s pension is payable to the children and adopted children under the age of 18 in the event of the death of their mother or father. The child’s residence (with the deceased parent or not) has no impact on the pension. Foster children are not eligible for survivors’ pension.

The child of a surviving spouse is eligible for child’s pension if

  • the child resided in the same household as the surviving spouse and the decedent at the decedent’s time of death,
    and
  • the surviving spouse and the decedent were married or in a registered partnership

An individual application must be completed for each child when applying for child’s pension.

Amount of survivors’ pension

The amount of survivors’ pension depends on:

  • the amount of the decedent’s earnings-related pension
  • the number of children
  • the amount of the surviving spouse’s own earnings-related pension.

The following do not impact on the amount of the pension:

  • national pension
  • voluntary pensions
  • the assets of the estate

The amount of survivors’ pension depends on the amount of the decedent’s earnings-related pension. If the decedent had not yet retired, the basis for calculation is the pension that would have been paid in the event of the decedent’s disability on the date of death.

The greater the number of children under the age of 18, the higher the survivors’ pension. When there are no children, the survivors’ pension consists solely of the surviving spouse’s pension. In such a case, the surviving spouse’s pension is half of the decedent’s pension.

Your own earnings-related pension impacts on the amount of surviving spouse’s pension. If you are not yet drawing earnings-related pension, account is taken of your ‘notional pension,’ which is the disability pension you would receive in the event of disability. Your own pension may result in the reduction or termination of the surviving spouse’s pension.

Reduction of surviving spouse’s pension

The amount of your own pension only impacts on surviving spouse’s pension, not on child’s pension. If your family consists of children entitled to child’s pension, any reduction of the surviving spouse’ s pension will only be made when the youngest child turns 18.

If there are no children entitled to child’s pension and you are not yet drawing your own earnings-related pension, any reduction will be made after 6 months from the decedent’s death and until then, half of the decedent’s pension will be paid in surviving spouse’s pension.

When you retire on earnings-related pension, the surviving spouse’s pension will be recalculated.

If you have turned 65 or receive personal earnings-related pension, any reduction will be made immediately at the start of the surviving spouse’s pension.

Start and termination of survivors’ pension

The right to survivors’ pension starts at the beginning of the month following the death of the spouse or parent.

Survivors’ pension will be terminated if you enter into a new marriage or registered partnership before the age of 50. In such a case, you will receive a lump sum payment equal to three years’ survivors’ pension.

If you enter into a new marriage or registered partnership after turning 50, you will continue to receive survivors’ pension.

Child’s pension is paid until the child turns 18.

How to apply for survivors’ pension

An application may be filed when the decedent’s last employer was local government, the State, the Evangelical Lutheran Church, Kela or the Government of Åland.

Required enclosures: If the decedent or the surviving spouse has worked abroad, the electronic appendix U must also be completed.

An individual application must be completed for each beneficiary: a surviving spouse’s pension application for the surviving spouse and a child’s pension application for each child under the age of 18.

Please also see the general instructions for pension applications and what to do after receiving your pension decision. (linkki Eläkkeen hakeminen -sivulle)

File your application for survivors’ pension in the online service My Pension (available in Finnish and Swedish) or mail the application and the enclosures to: FI-00087 KEVA.