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Kela provides survivors' pensions following the death of a close family member.

Survivors' benefits

Kela provides survivors' pensions following the death of a close family member.

Finland has two statutory survivors' pension schemes, which complement each other: a scheme administered by Kela and an earnings-related scheme, which provides benefits linked to the employment/self-employment pension accrued by the deceased. The survivors' pensions available from Kela are payable as Spouses' Pensions and Orphans' Pensions.

Survivors' pensions can be paid from both systems at the same time. You can submit applications for all types of survivors' pension to Kela. For information about survivors' pensions from the earnings-related pensions system, contact the pension provider of the deceased or the Finnish Centre for Pensions.

Widows and widowers are eligible for a pension following the death of their spouse, while children under 18 can be paid a pension following the death of their mother, father or other legal guardian.

Pensions available from employment accident and motor insurance plans

Widows/widowers and children may also be eligible for a survivors' pension on the basis of an employment accident, motor, patient injury or military injury plan. If such pensions offer adequate economic security, Kela will not pay an additional amount to the survivor's pension. For more information, see the websites of the responsible insurance companies or the State Treasury or consult their brochures.

Survivor's pension on the basis of the deceased's employment

Surviving spouses and children may also be entitled to a lump-sum compensation from a group life insurance policy, if the deceased was employed when he or she died. Nearly all employees have group life insurance financed by their employer. Farmers have equivalent mandatory cover under the Farmers' Pension Insurance Act. State and local government employees also have arrangements for survivors' benefits. For more information, contact the deceased's employer or the Farmers' Social Insurance Institution.

Survivor's pension from abroad

If the deceased had at some point worked in another EU/EEA country, in Switzerland, or in a country that has a social security agreement with Finland, the surviving spouse and children may also be entitled to a survivors' pension from the deceased's country of employment.

More information

Last modified 04/04/2016
Updated 21/05/2015