Institutional Rules Explorer

Comparing policies across countries:  Public Survivor Old-Age Benefits
1992
2017
Eligibility criteria
1. Conditions concerning the deceased:

RGAVTS
  • Survivors’ pension: The deceased was a contributor to an old-age or invalidity pension at the time of death.
  • Widow(er)’s allowance: The deceased has paid old-age contributions over at least 3 months of the 12 month period (not including the month of death) during the year prior to death.
  • Death allowance: The deceased was employed or received an unemployment benefit, a cash sickness benefit, or a disability pension (with an assessed degree of incapacity of at least 66.67%).

ARRCO and AGIRC
  • The deceased must have been a member.

2. Conditions concerning the surviving spouse:

RGAVTS
  • Survivors’ pension: Benefits are granted to widow(er)s, aged at least 55. The personal income of the beneficiary is income tested (unless disabled). See Table

  • Widow(er)’s allowance: The beneficiary must be aged under 55, not divorced, not remarried or living as married, nor having entered into a civil solidarity pact. Surviving domestic and civil union (Pacs) partners are not eligible. Survivor’s income over the 3 calendar months before the application must not exceed the income ceiling set by the government. See Table

ARRCO and AGIRC
  • The beneficiary must be a widow(er) who has not remarried, aged at least 55 (ARRCO) or 60 (AGIRC).
  • There is no age condition if the beneficiary is disabled or has two dependent children.
Statutory retirement age
Age 55 (RGAVTS, ARRCO); Age 60 (AGIRC)
Benefit reduction for claiming early
Early claiming not available
Benefit increase for delayed claiming
No
1992
2001
2017
Eligibility criteria
Conditions concerning the deceased:
  • The deceased had at least five years of contributions or was a pensioner at the time of death. The qualifying period can be met sooner if the insured party has died, for example, because of an accident at work.

Conditions concerning the surviving spouse:
  • Minor widow(er)’s pension: Paid to a widow(er) or surviving civil partner (for unlimited period before 2001; up to 24 months under the new legislation since 2001) following the month of the insured's death. The survivor must not have remarried or entered a new civil partnership after the insured's death.
  • Major widow(er)’s pension: Paid to a widow(er) or surviving civil partner who meets the qualifying conditions for the small widow(er) pension and is aged 45 or older (rising gradually to age 47 by 2029), cares for a child younger than age 18, or has a disability.

Note: The marriage must have lasted for at least 1 year.
Statutory retirement age
Age 45 (gradually rising to age 47 by 2029)
Benefit reduction for claiming early
Early claiming not available
Benefit increase for delayed claiming
No
1992
2017
Eligibility criteria
Conditions concerning the deceased:
The deceased received or was entitled to receive an old-age or disability pension at the time of death.

Eligible survivors:
  1. the spouse (widow, widower, pensioner, divorced spouse) if they meet one of the following conditions at the time of death of the insured person:
    • age over 50 or was incapable of work or,
    • brings up at least one of the children, grandchildren or siblings who are entitled to the survivors’ pension after the deceased spouse and are under 16, or
    • takes care of a child who is totally incapable of work and of independent existence or who is totally incapable of work and entitled to the survivors’ pension, or
    • reached 50 years of age or became incapacitated within 5 years after the death of his/her spouse or since he/she stopped raising legitimate children
    • meet one of the conditions above and entitled to maintenance/alimony at the time of the death of the insured person as determined by the court if divorced.

  2. a spouse or a widow(er) who does not meet the conditions but does not have the necessary means of subsistence
    • a pension may be granted for a maximum of one year after the death of the spouse;
    • for a maximum of 2 years after the death of the spouse, if the widow(er) attends a training course after which he/she is going to obtain qualifications for gainful employment.

Note: The benefits are still paid if remarried.

Note: A funeral allowance is provided to a person who has covered the costs of a funeral including the family members. This can therefore be the employer, social welfare home, municipality, district, etc.
Statutory retirement age
Age 50
Benefit reduction for claiming early
Early claiming not available
Benefit increase for delayed claiming
No
 United Kingdom
All details  
1992
2001
2016
2017
Eligibility criteria
Category B Pension
  1. A widow, widower or surviving civil partner qualifies for a category B pension if their deceased spouse or civil partner satisfied the contribution conditions (or died as a result of industrial injury or disease) and also the conditions are met in Table, Table.
  2. Inheriting rights to Additional State Pension: A widow, widower or surviving civil partner entitled to receive the Basic State Pension (BSP) based on their deceased partner’s contributions may also be entitled to some or all of their deceased partner’s Additional State Pension (ASP) income.
  • If the spouse or civil partner died after reaching SRA, then their ASP entitlement that is taken into consideration is whatever they became entitled to when they reached SRA.
  • If the spouse or civil partner died before reaching SRA, the ASP entitlement is evaluated at the tax year in which they died, and taking the length of working life to be the total number of years from 1978–79 to the year before they died (inclusive).

Note: A surviving partner might inherit part of their deceased partner’s ASP if their marriage or civil partnership with them began before April 6, 2016 and one of the following applies:
  • their partner reached SRA before April 6, 2016
  • they died before April 6, 2016 but would have reached SRA on or after that date.

Widow(er)’s pension / Bereavement benefits / Bereavement support payment

  1. Conditions for the survivors
    • Widow’s benefit (restricted to women): Lump sum benefit paid if the widow is under age 60 or the deceased husband was not retired before death. It was replaced by the Bereavement payment.
    • Widow’s pension (WP): Awarded to widows aged 45 or over and without children until they reach SRA. It was replaced by the Bereavement Allowance.
    • Widowed mother’s allowance (WMA): Paid to widows with children. The widow had to be receiving Child Benefit for a child who was either hers and her late husband's. The benefit lasted as long as the children qualified her for it.

  2. Conditions for the deceased: Contributions must have been paid for at least 25% of the working years.

Note: An earning related component is also paid along with WP/WMA based on husband’s earnings since 1978.
Statutory retirement age
The SRA is 65 for men and was 60 for women between 1948 and April 2010. Between April 2010 and March 2020, the SRA for women increased by one month every month (by date of birth) until the SRA for women reaches 65 (this was legislated in the Pensions Act 1995). See Table and Table.
  • The Pensions Act 2007 announced further increases in the SRA for both men and women in order to help ensure the financial sustainability of the state pension system in the face of increasing life expectancy. The SRA is currently scheduled to be increased to 66 between 2024 and 2026 (again, one month every month), to 67 between 2034 and 2036 and to 68 between 2044 and 2046.
  • The Pensions Act 2011 accelerated the timetable so women’s state pension age reaches 65 by 2018. The state pension age will then rise for both men and women to 66 between 2018 and 2020.
Benefit reduction for claiming early
Early claiming not available
Benefit increase for delayed claiming
No
 United States
All details  
1992
2000
2017
Eligibility criteria
Conditions for the deceased: The deceased received or was entitled to receive an old-age or disability pension at the time of death (minimum 40 quarters of qualifying coverage). If younger than age 42 at the time of death, the deceased must have had at least six quarters of coverage and the total quarters of coverage must have been at least equal to the deceased’s age minus 21.

Conditions for the survivors: Eligible survivors include:
  • a widow(er) aged 60 or older and married to the insured for at least nine months before the death (at least 10 years and did not remarry before age 60 for a divorced widow(er));
  • a widow(er) at any age if caring for a child younger than age 16 or disabled and receiving social security benefits;
  • a widow(er) with a disability or surviving divorced spouse aged 50 or older with a disability that started before or within seven years of the deceased’s death.
Statutory retirement age
The original Social Security Act of 1935 set the minimum age for receiving full retirement benefits at 65. The 1983 Amendments phased in a gradual increase in the age for collecting full Social Security retirement benefits. The statutory retirement age (SRA) will increase from 65 to 67 over a 22-year period, with an 11-year hiatus at which the retirement age will remain at 66. See Table for details.
Benefit reduction for claiming early
Yes
Benefit increase for delayed claiming
The pension is increased for each year the insured defers retirement beyond SRA, up to age 70. After age 70 there are no more increases as a result of delaying benefits. See Formula