Employment, Social Affairs & Inclusion

Austria - Survivor’s benefits

In what situation can I claim?

Widow’s or widower’s pension

If the surviving spouse (or dependent former spouse) of a deceased insured person has reached the age of 35 at the time of the latter’s death or if the marriage has produced a child, a widow’s or widower’s pension (Witwenpension or Witwerpension) may be claimed.

Entitlement to survivor’s pension extends not only to widows and widowers, but to registered partners as well.

Orphan’s pension

Orphan’s pension (Waisenpension) is provided to children up to the age of 18 years. For orphans in training or university education, the entitlement runs up to the age of 27. There is no age limit for children with disabilities.

Funeral expenses

A funeral expenses grant (Zuschuss zu den Bestattungskosten) can be provided in case of need, where the statutes of the insurance fund so provide.

What is covered?

You may be entitled to survivors’ benefits if the deceased person had pension insurance and completed the qualifying period. The qualifying period is the same as that for invalidity benefits. This means that you will be entitled to survivor’s pension only if the deceased was insured for at least 60 months in the last 120 calendar months. If the deceased has reached the age of 50, the qualifying period is increased by one month and the reference period by 2 months, to a maximum of 180 insurance months within the last 360 calendar months. If the deceased has paid contributions for at least 180 months or completed 300 months of insurance, no reference period is required.

What am I entitled to and how can I claim?

Widow’s or widower’s pension

The surviving spouse receives a pension of between 0% and 60% (depending on their other income) of the old-age or invalidity pension to which the deceased was or would have been entitled.

If the sum of the survivor’s pension and the beneficiary’s own income is below EUR 1,956.13 per month, a corresponding difference of up to 60% of the deceased’s pension is paid. A compensation allowance or care allowance may be granted in addition to this pension.

Widow’s pension is paid monthly in arrears, i.e. on the first day of each following month. It is paid in 14 annual instalments. Your April and October pension instalments include a supplement.

As a rule, survivors’ benefits are taxed.

As a rule, widow’s and widower’s pensions are provided on application only. An application should be submitted within six months of the death of the deceased spouse if you are seeking entitlement from the day following that of your spouse’s death. This application should be submitted to the competent pension insurance fund, using an appropriate form.

Orphan’s pension

For half-orphans, orphan’s pension amounts to 40% and, for total orphans, 60% of the pension to which the deceased was or would have been entitled.

The reference levels for compensatory supplements for orphan’s pension depend on the age of the orphan. Care allowance may also be claimed in addition to the ’orphan’s pension.

An application for orphan’s pension is not required if the pension is provided ex officio.

Funeral expenses grant

A funeral expenses grant (Zuschuss zu den Bestattungskosten) of up to EUR 436.04 of the funeral costs can be claimed from the sickness insurance fund. However, this benefit is not offered by every sickness insurance fund.

Whenever you have to fulfil certain conditions before being able to claim an Austrian social security benefit, the authorities will also take into account any insurance periods you have completed in other countries. This applies to EU Member States and to Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Iceland. No insurance period you have completed in Austria will be affected if you work or are insured in one of these countries.

Jargon busters

  • Compensatory supplement - A compensatory supplement is a cash benefit paid in addition to calculated pension that makes up a total amount equivalent to minimum income. The compensatory supplement itself is the difference between the individual pension, other creditable net income and the reference levels for the compensatory supplement, which is adjusted each year in a regulation issued by the Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs and Consumer Protection. You have to be permanently resident in Austria in order to receive the compensatory supplement.
  • A half-orphan is any child who has lost one parent.
  • A full orphan is any child who has lost both parents.
  • Habitual residence - the terms ‘permanent residence’ and ‘habitual residence’ are defined under EU law. Please see the EU Regulation on the coordination of social security systems. In practice, it means the place where you have your centre of interests.

Forms you may need to fill in

Survivors’ benefits after the death of a spouse or registered partner are provided on application only. In principle, this application should be submitted to the competent social security institution, using an appropriate form. However, it may also be submitted at any sickness insurance fund or local authority. Applications without specific form will also be evaluated.

Forms to download:

Online forms to be filled in:

Know your rights

The links below set out your rights in law. However, they are not official European Commission sites and do not represent the view of the Commission:

Commission publications:

Whom do you need to contact?

Federal Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs, Health and Consumer Protection

Stubenring 1

1010 Vienna

AUSTRIA

T: +43 1711000

E: post@sozialministerium.at

http://www.sozialministerium.at

Main Association of Austrian Security Institutions

Kundmanngasse 21

1030 Vienna

AUSTRIA

T: +43 711322400

E: posteingang.allgemein@hvb.sozvers.at

http://www.hauptverband.at

Pension Insurance Institution, Main Office

Friedrich-Hillegeist-Straße 1

1021 Vienna

AUSTRIA

T: +43 50303

E: pva@pva.sozvers.at

http://www.pensionsversicherung.at

Pension Insurance Institution offices

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