Pensions and benefits for widow(er)s
A widow(er) may be entitled to family pensions and compensation. A family pension can be paid either on the basis of the dead spouse's earnings-related pension or as a family pension from Kela.
The possibility of receiving a spouse's pension depends on the amount of income the dead spouse earned, if the couple has a child together, and the deceased spouse's age when the couple married.
Under the earnings-related pension legislation, as a widow(er) you have the right to your spouse’s pension if
- your spouse had accrued an earnings-related pension,
- you have had a child together, and
- you and your spouse were married or entered a registered relationship before your spouse reached the age of 65.
If your spouse's earnings were small, you may receive a spouse's pension from Kela if
- you are under the age of 65,
- your spouse lived in Finland, and
- you have lived in Finland for a minimum of three years.
If you did not have children together, you may only receive a spouse's pension paid by Kela if
- you were at least 50 years old when your spouse died, or you have received a disability pension for at least three years
- your marriage or registered partnership lasted at least five years, and
- you were under the age of 50 and your spouse under the age of 65 when you got married or registered your partnership.
The pensions paid by Kela are called initial pension and continuing pension. You can receive the initial pension for the six months following the death of your spouse. After that, you may receive a continuing pension consisting of two parts: a basic amount and an income-tested additional amount.
At most, the pension can be one half of what your spouse would have received. The sum is also influenced by your own pension.
The same form can be used to apply to both employment pension companies and Kela for the spouse’s pension. If your spouse has lived abroad, you may receive a family pension from the country in which they lived.
Employment pension companies pay the spouse's pension for the rest of the surviving spouse's life. Kela pays the spouse's pension until the month in which your turn 65.
No. If you lived with your partner without being married, you will not receive a spouse's pension, as it is only paid to people who were married or in a registered partnership.
As a widow(er), you may also be entitled to a family pension or care pension from an accident insurance, traffic insurance, military accident insurance, military disability insurance and medical malpractice insurance policy. Ask your spouse’s employer for the name of the insurance company where he or she had a policy, and apply directly to the insurance provider for the pension.
If the family pension paid by these insurance companies provides a sufficient income, Kela will not pay the supplement portion for a family pension.
If your spouse was in working age and they were working or on sick leave, you may receive compensation from group life insurance coverage for employees. Applications for compensation should be submitted to the Employees' Group Life Assurance (TRHV).
If your spouse has died and you have become the single parent of children aged under 18, inform Kela of your status. A single parent will be paid an increased child allowance, and you may receive a general housing allowance if your income is low.
You may also be given social assistance if you are having temporary difficulties with money.
Parish workers can help those who are going through difficult times even if you are not a member of the church.