Employment, Social Affairs & Inclusion

Sweden - Survivor's protection and other benefits for pensioners

In what situation can I claim?

As a survivor, you can obtain financial support in the form of a survivor's pension (efterlevandepension). There are three different kinds of public survivor’s pension: child pension, adjustment pension and widow’s pension. This should cover part of the income that the deceased person contributed. Children who have lost one or both parents can receive child pension (barnpension). Women and men who have not yet turned 65 and lose their partners can receive adjustment pension (omställningspension). Women can also receive widow's pension (änkepension) if they were married before 1990. In general, you automatically receive this type of survivor's pension without having to apply. You can often also obtain remuneration from the deceased person's occupational pension and private pension.

If the death was caused by an occupational injury, as a survivor you can also receive an annuity (efterlevandelivränta) and help with funeral expenses (begravningshjälp).

In addition to this remuneration, as a pensioner you may be entitled to other types of benefit. For example, you can receive an allowance to pay for your housing, together with income support if you have a low pension that you cannot manage on.

All of the benefit types mentioned in this chapter are taxable unless otherwise stated.

What conditions do I need to meet?

Survivor pension

You can receive survivor's pension in the form of child pension, adjustment pension or widow's pension. Child pension is given to children under 18 if one or more parents have died. Older children up to 20 can receive benefit in certain cases. If the child has a low or no child pension, he or she can receive survivor's benefit for children. The same rules apply to adoptive children provided that the person was not adopted by a person other than the deceased parent's husband or wife.

Adjustment pension can be obtained if you have not turned 65 and your husband, wife or registered partner has died. This requires that you have lived together for the last 5 years or that you live with a child for which one of you had custody. Even cohabiting partners can be entitled to benefits. You will receive the benefit for 12 months unless you do not have any children. If you have children over 12 but under 18 years of age, you can receive extended adjustment pension for 12 months. You can also obtain extended adjustment pension if you have a child who has not turned 12. Adjustment pension ceases when the youngest child turns 12. However, the benefit always ceases when you turn 65. The same applies if you remarry (does not apply in the first 12 months) or if your family situation changes in some other way.

Widow's pension was replaced on 1 January 1990, but if you are a woman and were married to your husband before this you may be entitled to widow's pension. The requirements vary depending on whether you were born before or after 1945.

If you have a low or no adjustment pension or widow's pension, you can receive a guarantee pension until the age of 65.

You can also receive a survivor's pension if someone has disappeared but it is assumed that they are dead.

Other survivor protection

If the deceased person had an occupational pension or private pension, as a survivor you may be entitled to compensation.

If you receive survivor's pension and the death was caused by occupational injury or an accident on the way to or from work, you can receive an annuity in the form of a child annuity, adjustment annuity or widow's annuity. These are based on the deceased person's work income. You can also receive help with funeral expenses in the case of occupational injury.

Housing supplement

Housing supplement is a tax-free benefit that you can receive for your housing if you are over 65 and take out your entire old age pension. If you are married, cohabiting or a registered partner, it is your joint income and assets that count.

Income support for the elderly If you have a low pension or no pension at all, you can receive income support for the elderly. You must be over 65, live in Sweden and receive other benefits in full.

What am I entitled to and how can I claim?

Survivor pension

Benefit

Remuneration

Child pension                         

part of the deceased person's retirement pension

Survivor benefit for children    

SEK 1,517 per month

Adjustment pension                

55% of the deceased person's retirement pension

Guarantee pension                 

SEK 8,076 per month

Widow's pension                    

40% of the supplementary pension in the old ATP system

The child pension corresponds in principle to the deceased person's old age pension. How large a share the child receives depends on the child's age and on whether he or she has siblings. Those children who have low child pensions can receive survivor's benefit for children, which guarantees SEK 1,517 per month.

Adjustment pension is also calculated on the basis of the deceased person's retirement pension. It amounts to 55% of the assumed income-related pension. If this amount is low, you can receive guarantee pension, which provides a basic amount of SEK 8,076 per month.

Widow's pension is calculated on the basis of the supplementary pension in the old pension system, also known as ATP. You receive 40% of your husband's supplementary pension. If there are children who receive child pension following his death, you instead receive 35%. If you receive your own retirement pension, your widow's pension is reduced.

You generally receive a survivor's pension automatically. In certain circumstances, however, you need to apply. This applies if the death occurred before 1 November 2012, if the deceased person was not resident in Sweden when they died or if you request survivor's pension following the disappearance of a person who can be assumed to be dead. You must also apply if you don't live in Sweden yourself. If you live in the EU, you can apply for a Swedish survivor's pension from the Pensions Agency in the country where you live.

If you are a child or spouse of a deceased person who worked or was resident in Sweden, you can apply for a survivor's pension from Sweden even if you have never been there yourself.

Other survivor protection

Occupational pension

How much you receive from the deceased person's occupational pension and private pension depends on how large these pensions are. To receive the deceased person's occupational pension, contact their employer. Regarding private pensions, check with the bank or insurance company where the deceased person has their savings.

Annuities

Benefit

Remuneration

Child annuity

20-40% of work income

Adjustment annuity

20-45% of work income

Widow's annuity

40-45% of work income

Help with funeral expenses

SEK 13,650

The annuity is calculated on the basis of the work income that the deceased person had on their death up to a maximum of SEK 341,200. This corresponds to 7.5 price base amounts for the year 2017. The total annuity which is paid out cannot be greater than the work income.

The child annuity to one child is 40% of the work income. If several children share the benefit, each sibling receives 20%. The benefit is reduced if you receive child pension.

Adjustment annuity amounts to 45% of the deceased person's work income. If there are children who are entitled to child annuity, you instead receive 20%. The benefit is reduced if you receive adjustment pension and guarantee pension.

Widow's annuity (is paid under transition rules) amounts to 45% of the work income. If there are children who are entitled to child annuity, you instead receive 40%. The benefit is reduced if you receive widow's pension, if you had not turned 50 on your husband's death and if you do not live with children under 16. You apply for these types of annuity from the Swedish Pensions Agency. You can also apply to them for help with funeral expenses, which are paid to the estate of the deceased person.

Housing supplement

How much you receive depends on your needs. You apply to the Swedish Pensions Agency, where you can also make a prediction for any housing supplement.

Income support for the elderly

You will receive benefit to achieve a reasonable quality of life. This means that after you have paid for your housing at a reasonable price, you should have SEK 5,634 left per month as a single person or SEK 4,590 per month as a spouse, cohabiting partner or registered partner. You apply to the Swedish Pensions Agency.

Benefits outside Sweden

You can receive income related child pension, adjustment pension and widow's pension regardless of which country you move to. Survivor's benefit for children is only paid out to children living in Sweden. However, there are certain exceptions if you live in the EU/EEA or Switzerland. Housing supplement and income support for the elderly are paid out only if you are resident in Sweden.

Jargon busters

Annuity is a survivor's pension you can receive if the death is caused by an occupational injury or an accident on the way to or from work.

Income support for the elderly is a benefit if you have low or no pension at all. It is intended to guarantee that you have a reasonable quality of life.

ATP is the general supplementary pension. This is the old pension system which was replaced in 1999.

Price base amount - see the chapter on Benefit during sickness.

Forms to fill in

  • PM8505 Application for child pension/survivor's pension/child annuity
  • PM8507 Application for survivor's pension/survivor's annuity for women
  • PM8508 Application for survivor's pension/survivor's annuity for men

You can find the majority of forms at: http://www.pensionsmyndigheten.se/Blanketter.html

Know your rights

Sweden:

EU:

Who do you need to contact?

Swedish Pensions Agency
SE-106 44 Stockholm
Sweden
Telephone customer service: +46 771776776 (Monday-Thursday 8 am-6 pm, Friday 8 am-4 pm)
E-mail: https://secure.pensionsmyndigheten.se/SkickaEpost.html
Service office: https://www.pensionsmyndigheten.se/om-pensionsmyndigheten/kontakta-oss/hitta-narmaste-servicekontor

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