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Survivors’ pension

When a death occurs in a family, the income of the widow and the children is secured with a survivors’ pension, which can be a spouse’s pension or an orphan’s pension.

The purpose of the survivors’ pension under the earnings-related pension scheme is to compensate for the loss of income caused to the family by the death of a guardian. The survivors’ pension in the national pension scheme in turn secures a minimum income for the widow and the children.

Who can get survivors’ pension?

A survivor’s pension can be granted to

  • the widow
  • children aged under 18
  • in the national pension scheme, also to children who are aged under 21 and students.

A widow’s pension is paid if the spouses have (or have had) a child together.

If the couple does not have a child together, the spouse is entitled to a widow’s pension if he or she was at least 50 years old or had a long-term disability when the deceased insured person died. In addition, the marriage must have been concluded before the widow had reached the age of 50 and the deceased insured person 65 and it must have lasted at least five years. The widow’s pension in accordance with the National Pensions Act is paid only to a widow who is under 65 years of age.

A cohabitation partner is not entitled to a widow’s pension.

Applications for survivors’ pension should be addressed to Kela or an earnings-related pension provider

Applications for survivors’ pension should be addressed to Kela or to an earnings-related pension provider in which the deceased insured person was insured or which has paid the person’s earnings-related pension. Applications for survivors’ pension can also be addressed to the Finnish Centre for Pensions.

Other benefits for the widow and the children

The widow and the children can receive survivor’s pension or compensation for the loss of maintenance also from an accident, motor insurance, military injuries or patient injuries insurance.

Applications for these should be addressed to the insurance company, or to the State Treasury if the deceased insured person was employed by the State.

The widow and the children can receive compensation from the employer’s group life insurance. In addition, it should be established what kind of private insurances the deceased person had.

Social assistance may be granted for necessary funeral expenses if the assets of the deceased person are not enough and the family cannot afford it. Social assistance can be applied for to the municipal social services office.

Pension decisions can be appealed to appeal boards

The pension decision includes information on how it can be appealed. Earnings-related pensions can be appealed to the Pension Appeal Board and national pensions to the Social Security Appeal Board.

The Ministry of Social Affairs and Health does not handle appeals or complaints.

Yhteystiedot – Yhteystietonosto

Inka Hassinen, Ministerial Adviser 
Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, Sosiaaliturva- ja vakuutusosasto / SVO, Eläke- ja yksityisvakuutusyksikkö / EVY 0295163187