Widows, widowers, full orphans and semi-orphans receive survivor's pensions.
Survivor's pensions go to:
if the deceased has fulfilled the qualifying period (minimum insurance period) of five years of contributions and contribution-equivalent periods. The qualifying period can be met sooner if the insured party has died, for example, because of an accident at work or shortly after the completion of training. The couple must have been married for at least one year for the surviving spouse to be entitled to a pension.
Children of policy holders who die receive an orphan's pension, in principle until their 18th birthday. The pension is continued until they are 27, provided that the orphan
A semi-orphan pension is allocated when one parent is still alive; a full orphan's pension is allocated when both parents are dead.
Semi-orphans (one dead parent) receive 10% and full orphans (both parents dead) 20% of the pension which the deceased parent(s) would have received. They receive an orphan's supplement on top of the pension. If the insured father or mother died before the age of 63, the orphan's pension is curtailed by up to 10.8%.
Deduction of income:
Income of the survivors such as earned income, yield on capital and other income are partially deducted from the pension. The monthly exempt value that is not deducted from the pension is linked to the current pension value. For survivors and beneficiaries bringing up the child, it is 26.4 times the current pension value. If personal income is higher than the exemption, 40% of the surplus net income is deducted from the survivor's pension. For orphans nothing is deducted.
Calculation of widow and widower pensions:
Widows or widowers usually receive 25% of the total which the deceased would have received for a disability pension for two years at most (known as the small widow or widower pension).
Survivors receive 55% of this amount if they
Widows and widowers who have raised children receive a supplement. If the couple is divorced, there is normally a maintenance settlement that takes into account later pension claims (pension rights).
Spouses and partners in a registered life partnership may split their claims to a survivor's pension between them in a contract which must be signed by both. This is possible if
This also applies to partners living in a registered partnership.
European Commission publications: