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Survivors’ pension

Survivors’ pension secures the livelihood of the widow(er) and children under 20 years old in case of the death of the family provider.

Spouse’s pension for a widow(er)

In order to receive the spouse’s pension, the spouses must have been married prior to the date on which the deceased individual turned 65. If the spouses have or have had a child together, the widow(er) is entitled to the pension.

If the spouses do not have a child together, the widow(er) is entitled to survivors’ pension, provided that: 

  • (S)he was at least 50 years of age when the spouse died or (s)he has been at least three years on disability pension, and
  • The couple was married before the widow(er) turned 50, and
  • The marriage had lasted a minimum of five years.

For the purposes of the spouse’s pension, a registered partnership is considered equal to a marriage. A former spouse may also be eligible to receive survivors’ pension if the deceased individual has been liable to pay child support to the spouse. Cohabiting partners are not eligible for the spouse’s pension.


If the widow(er) remarries after the age of 50, the payment of the spouse’s pension will continue. In this case, the new marriage no longer provides eligibility for survivors’ pension.

If, however, the widow(er) remarries under the age of 50, the survivors’ pension is discontinued and he/she is paid a lump sum amount that is equal to three years of the spouse’s pension.

Orphan’s pension

A child under the age of 20 is always entitled to the survivors’ pension upon the death of a parent or guardian. As far as a stepmother or stepfather is concerned, a child is only entitled to the orphan’s pension if (s)he lived in the same household when the stepmother or stepfather died. Pension is paid simultaneously for two deceased individuals at the most.

The child continues to receive the orphan’s pension until the end of the month in which he/she turns 20. However, Kela can also pay students over 18 a general survivors’ pension by virtue of the Survivors Pensions Act.

Applying for survivors’ pension

A separate pension application form must be completed for the widow(er) and each child. Children over 18 years old must complete their own applications.

A former spouse must also complete his/her own pension application to which is attached a copy of the maintenance agreement or decision.

Apply for pension in Elo's Online Service. 
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Amount of survivors’ pension

 The basis for the survivors’ pension is the pension that the deceased individual was receiving or would have received as disability pension at the time of death. The survivors’ pension is determined based on the number of beneficiaries.

Effect of the widow(er)’s own pension on the survivors’ pension

Spouse’s pension / month

Other insurance security options in case of death

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Elo is here to help and support you

Elo's Online Pension Service enables you to manage your pension and benefit matters whenever it’s most convenient for you. For pension and benefit matters, please call us at +358 (0)20 694 717 (weekdays 8 a.m.–5 p.m.)

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