Eligibility for surviving spouse's pension

In order to get a surviving spouse’s pension, you must have been married to, cohabited with or lived in a registered partnership with the deceased.

Kela pays surviving spouse’s pension until you reach the age of 65, at the maximum. In certain situations, the surviving spouse’s pension is paid until any child that you have with your spouse/partner or any child of your spouse/partner turns 18.

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

  • a starting pension
  • a possible continuing pension.

Read more about the starting pension and the continuing pension.

Cohabitation

Marriage and registered partnership

Effect of other pensions on the surviving spouse’s pension

Kela will not pay you surviving spouse’s continuing pension if you are already being paid

You may, however, be eligible for a surviving spouse’s starting pension. If you receive national pension, Kela will pay starting pension at the amount exceeding the national pension.

Effects of residence abroad on the surviving spouse's pension

If you have lived abroad, you can get surviving spouse’s pension from Kela provided that you now live in Finland permanently.

All the following criteria must, however, be met:

  • Your deceased spouse/partner had lived in Finland for at least 3 years after having reached the age of 16.
  • Your spouse/partner was living in Finland at the time of his or her death.
  • You yourself have lived in Finland for at least 3 years after having reached the age of 16.
  • You are living in Finland or you have moved back to Finland within one year of the death of your spouse/partner.

You can also get surviving spouse’s pension from Kela, if you are living in an EU or EEA country, in Switzerland or in the UK.

You can also get a pension from abroad on the basis of an international agreement.

If you or your spouse/partner have lived abroad, you should check with Kela how your residence abroad affects your surviving spouse's pension.

Read more