The death of a spouse at retirement age causes many upheavals, including financial ones. To maintain a decent standard of living, the surviving spouse can claim a survivor’s pension. Find out what it really is and how to benefit from it: conditions, resource limits, amount, operation.
What is that ?
The part of the pension which the deceased insured person benefited from or could have benefited from is called a survivor’s pension. This is then transferred subject to conditions of age and resources to the surviving spouse or his/her ex-spouse(s).
To know : the survivor’s pension can be granted even if the death of the spouse occurs before he retires or before he has reached the minimum retirement age.
The purpose of the survivor’s pension is to maintain a certain standard of living for the surviving spouse.
How it works ?
The general old-age insurance scheme imposes three conditions for claiming a survivor’s pension.
Have been married to the deceased insured
As such, the spouse as well as all the ex-spouses of the deceased person can receive the pension. In the latter case, it is divided according to the number of heirs and the amount also takes into account the duration of the marriage.
Namely: cohabitation and the PACS are not enough to claim the survivor’s pension. On the other hand, remarriage of the surviving spouse does not prevent the right to survivorship.
A minimum age
The request for a survivor’s pension can only be made from a certain age, which varies according to the date of birth of the applicant:
- the beneficiary must be at least 51 years old if the death occurred before the 1er January 2009;
- the applicant must be at least 55 years old for a death occurring after the 1er January 2009.
The level of resources
The payment of the survivor’s pension also takes into account the level of resources of the surviving spouse. Indeed, the applicant’s income to which is added the survivor’s pension must not reach a certain ceiling. In 2019, they are:
- 20,862.40 euros for a person who lives alone;
- 379.84 euros for a couple. The income of the spouse is then taken into account.
Note: these amounts vary according to the increase in the hourly minimum wage, and may therefore vary from one year to another.
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How is a survivor’s pension calculated?
The amount of the survivor’s pension varies according to the basic pension of the deceased as well as the resources of the beneficiary.
In practice, the survivor’s pension represents 54% of the basic pension of the deceased insured person. This is the maximum amount, which is subject to a cap: 10,941.48 euros in 2019. The actual amount is adjusted according to the resources of the surviving spouse.
On the other hand, there is an increase of 10% per child if the beneficiary has had or raised at least three children.
And a supplement can be added to the pension if the applicant is under 65, has a dependent child and no personal pension. In 2018, the amount of the supplement was 91.12 euros.
Reversion pension in 2019: what to expect ?
If the conditions of allocation remain the same in 2019, on the other hand the ceilings have evolved according to the revaluation of the hourly minimum wage.
Thus, in 2019, the surviving spouse must provide proof of income of less than 20,862.40 euros per year compared to 20,555.40 euros in 2018. And if the beneficiary lives in cohabitation, the ceiling rises to 33,379.84 euros per year in 2019 compared to 32,880.64 euros in 2018.
As for the survivor’s pension cap, its amount increased from 10,727.64 euros in 2018 to 10,941.48 euros in 2019.
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