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Surviving spouse's pension: Amount and payment

The surviving spouse's pension consists of two components: a starting pension and a continuing pension. The continuing pension consists of a basic amount and an additional amount.

Starting pension

The amount of the starting pension is EUR 383,30 per month.

Kela pays the starting pension for 6 months after the death of your spouse/partner or until you reach the age of 65. However, if you were cohabiting with your partner, you will no longer be eligible for starting pension once any child that you have with your partner has reached the age of 18.

Your income and assets do not affect the amount of the surviving spouse’s starting pension.

If you receive national pension or a comparable pension from abroad which is smaller than the starting pension, only the amount exceeding the national pension or a comparable pension from abroad is paid.

If your spouse/partner had lived or worked abroad, the starting pension may be paid at a reduced rate.

Continuing pension

The continuing pension consists of a basic amount and an additional amount.

If your spouse/partner had lived or worked abroad, the continuing pension may be paid at a reduced rate.

Basic amount

The basic amount is EUR 120.06 per month. You get this only if you have a dependent child who is under 18 years old. The child must be yours or your spouse's/partner’s.

Your income and assets do not affect the basic amount of the continuing pension.

Additional amount

A surviving spouse/partner who is not cohabiting can get an additional amount of a maximum of EUR 623.13 per month.

The additional amount payable to a surviving spouse/partner who is cohabiting is a maximum of EUR 539.15 per month.

However, almost all of your income, such as salary income, pension paid by an authorised pension provider, benefits paid by Kela, rental income and dividend income, will affect the amount of the additional amount. 60% of your earned income and other equivalent income is taken into account. In order to get the full additional amount, you can earn a maximum of EUR 65.62 per month.

The higher your income is, the lower is the additional amount payable.

Effect of gross income on the additional amount to the continuing pension (EUR per month)
Living arrangementFull rate of the additional amountMaximum income to qualify for a full pensionMaximum income at which an additional amount is paid when you have a child under 18Maximum income at which an additional amount is paid when you do not have a child under 18
Living alone623.1365.621,311.801,296.15
Living with another person*539.1565.621,143.881,128.13

*Marriage, registered partnership or cohabitation

Effect of income on the additional amount

Almost all your incomes affect the additional amount of the continuing pension. However, only 60% of your earned income and any comparable income is taken into account.

For instance, unemployment benefits, sickness allowance, parental allowances as well as the care allowance of the child home care allowance are considered comparable to earnings. In addition, the partial early old-age pension from the earnings-related pension scheme, excluding the early retirement reduction, is also considered as income.

For farmers and self-employed persons, the income confirmed under the Self-Employed Persons’ Pensions Act (YEL) or the Farmers’ Pensions Act (MYEL) is taken into account.

The increase for deferred retirement on earnings-related pension, which is payable if you continue working past your earliest possible retirement age, is not counted as income.

The interest on housing loans is deducted from the income, but not taxes.

Your property and assets do not affect the additional amount.

Example of surviving spouse's pension

Maija’s husband, Teppo, died in January 2024. Maija and Teppo have a daughter, Anne, aged under 18. Maija works part-time and has a salary of EUR 1,000 per month. Maija begins to receive a surviving spouse’s pension of EUR 1,200 per month on the basis of Teppo’s earnings-related pension.

After Teppo’s death, Kela pays Maija a starting pension of EUR 383.30 per month for 6 months. In total, Maija receives EUR 1,583.30 per month in surviving spouse’s pension from Kela and from the authorised pension provider

After receiving the starting pension for 6 months, Maija will get the basic amount of the continuing pension from Kela. The basic amount is EUR 120.06 per month and it is paid out because Maija has a dependent child who is under 18 years old. Maija is not granted an additional amount to the continuing pension because her income exceeds the maximum income limit. Kela has thus calculated Maija’s income as consisting of the surviving spouse’s pension paid by the earnings-related pension provider (EUR 1,200 per month) and 60 per cent of her earned income (EUR 600 per month).

When Anne turns 18, Kela will stop paying the surviving spouse’s pension.

Payment

Kela pays the surviving spouse's pension once a month into your bank account. The payment date is determined according to the first letter of the recipient’s last name as shown below:

  • A-K: 4th of the month
  • L-R: 14th of the month
  • S-Ö: 22nd of the month

If banks are closed on the scheduled payment date, the pension is paid on the nearest preceding banking day. Kela sends the data on pensions paid out to the national incomes register within five days of the date of payment.

Taxation

The surviving spouse's pension is taxable income. The pension entitles you to a pension income deduction in the taxation.

Once you have been granted a pension, apply for a revised tax card for pension income in MyTax (vero.fi). Present your pension decisions and state your other income and deductions.

You do not have to send the revised tax card to Kela, because the Tax Administration informs Kela and the payers of your earnings-related pensions about your new tax withholding rate. Kela is notified directly also if you apply for a revised tax card in mid-year.

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Last modified 1/1/2024

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