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Surviving spouse’s pension

The surviving spouse's pension provides financial support if your spouse/partner dies. The surviving spouse's pension is part of the survivors’ pension schemes administered by Kela and authorised pension providers. You can get surviving spouse’s pension from both schemes at the same time.

You can get surviving spouse’s pension, if you

  • were married to your partner
  • were cohabiting and your partner died on or after 1 January 2022.
  • were in a registered partnership.

The surviving spouse’s pension paid by Kela ends when you turn 65. Authorised pension providers pay surviving spouse's pensions without any age limit. The pension is based on the earnings-related pension that your deceased spouse/partner had accrued.

You can also get surviving spouse's pension based on the statutory workers compensation scheme and on the basis of a voluntary accident insurance. If your deceased spouse/partner had lived abroad, you may also be entitled to survivors’ pension from the countries in which he or she lived.

Read more about survivors’ pensions paid by other pension providers than Kela.

Surviving spouse’s pension paid by Kela

The surviving spouse's pension from Kela consists of two components:

  • a starting pension
  • a possible continuing pension.

Starting pension

You can get starting pension from the beginning of the month following the month when your spouse/partner died. Kela pays the pension for a maximum of 6 months. If you get national pension, you can only get starting pension insofar as the amount of the starting pension exceeds the amount of your national pension.

Payment of the starting pension will, however, end as soon as you reach the age of 65. Payment of the starting pension also ends if you remarry before you reach the age of 50.

Continuing pension

After the period of starting pension, you can get a surviving spouse’s continuing pension. It consists of two components: a basic amount and a supplement that you can get if your income is small.

Payment of the continuing pension ends when you reach the age of 65.

If you remarry before the age of 50, you will no longer be entitled to a continuing pension. However, if, when you remarry, you have been paid surviving spouse's pension for at least one year, Kela will pay you a lump sum equalling the amount of the continuing pension, for a period of three years.

Eligibility for surviving spouse’s pension

Whether you are entitled to a surviving spouse’s pension depends on, for example:

  • how long your marriage, cohabitation or registered partnership lasted
  • whether you have children
  • when you were born.

More information about eligibility for surviving spouse's pension.

If your income is small

If your income is small, you may be entitled to social assistance, housing allowance for pensioners or general housing allowance.

Read more

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