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Quick guide to survivors' pension

Someone who has lost a family member may receive a survivors' pension from Kela in the form of a spouse's pension or an orphan's pension. Survivors' pensions can also be paid from the deceased person's authorised pension provider.

Spouse's pension

Spouse's pension from Kela

Kela pays surviving spouses under the age of 65 an initial pension and a continuing pension.

Apply for a spouse’s pension

Apply to Kela for a spouse’s pension starting from the beginning of the month following your spouse’s/partner's death. Applications for spouse's pensions can be backdated by a maximum of 6 months.

The spouse's pension ends at age 65

Kela awards spouse's pensions to surviving spouse's under 65 years of age. The payment of the pension will end automatically when you reach the age of 65 years.

Orphan's pension

Orphan's pension until the age of 21

Kela can pay orphan's pensions to children under 18 years of age. If the child studies when he or she reaches the age of 18, Kela can pay the orphan's pension until the age of 21.

Apply for an orphan’s pension for a child whose guardian you are

Apply for an orphan’s pension for a child under 18 years of age whose guardian you are. Apply for an orphan’s pension starting from the beginning of the month after the deceased guardian's death.

Students aged 18-21 years apply for orphan's pensions themselves. The application for the pension can be backdated by a maximum of 6 months.

The orphan's pension ends at age 18 or 21

Kela ends payment of the orphan's pension when the child reaches the age of 18 or 21.

Other things to remember

Check if you can receive survivors' pensions from other payers

Check if you can receive a survivors' pension also from the deceased family member’s authorised pension provider or, for instance, from a workers compensation scheme or motor third party liability insurance.

Other things to remember

We have compiled a checklist, which summarises things that have to be arranged if a family member dies.

Last modified 17/1/2023

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