Widow/widower's benefit

Published on: 20/11/2015

1. Beneficiaries

Surviving spouse

Separate judicially or divorced man (Act 40/2007, of 4 December, modifies the article 174. Widow/er's pension of the Social Security General Act). Has not remarried or established a common-law relationship, and is a creditor of a compensatory pension (Article 97 of the Civil Code).

Survivors whose marriage would have been declared null, recipients of indemnity (article 98 of the Civil Code).

In any case, even if they are not creditors of a compensatory pension, women that can accredit that they are victims of gender-based violence at the time of separation or divorce will have the right to a widow's pension.

Similarly, when the legal separation or divorce is prior to 1 January 2008, recognition of the pension will not depend on whether the divorced or legally separated person is a creditor of a compensatory pension, provided that:

  • Between the date of legal divorce or separation and the date of death of the deceased, no more than 10 years have passed.
  • The marriage knot has had a minimum duration of 10 years.
  • In addition, one of the following conditions is fulfilled: existence of shared children in the marriage; or that the beneficiary was over 50 years of age at the date of death.

Starting from 1 January 2013, people who find themselves in the situation mentioned above will also be entitled to a widow/widower's pension, even if they do not meet the requirements referred to in it, provided they are aged 65 or over, are not entitled to any other state pension and the duration of their marriage to the originator of the pension was not less than 15 years.


Unmarried partners

People that have no impediments to contract marriage, are not married to another person and meet the following requirements:

  • Existence of the couple in fact with two years in advance to the fact responsible for.
  • Stable and well-known coexistence with the deceased for at least 5 consecutive years.

Economic dependence of the deceased:    

  • With shared children with a right to an orphan's pension: 50% of own income and of the deceased.
  • Without shared children with a right to an orphan's pension: 25% of own income and of the deceased.

In any case, the requirement is considered to be fulfilled when the applicant has an income lower than 1,5 times the minimum wage.

An income is considered to be work, capital and patrimonial income, in the terms in which they are computed for the examination of minimum complements for pensions.

2. Provision

52% of the regulatory base of the deceased in general.

In cases of legal separation or divorce:

  • When there is a single recipient: full pension.
  • When there are several beneficiaries: the pension will be calculated in proportion to the time spent cohabiting. If there is a surviving spouse or unmarried partner, they are guaranteed 40%.
  • In cases of survivors with a null marriage receiving compensation: the pension is always considered in proportion to the time spent cohabiting

70% of the benefits base of the cause, provided that during everything the period of perception of the pension, following requirementsare fulfilled:

  • That the pensioner has dependent relatives (children<26 years or disabled),
  • That the widow/er's pension constitutes the only source of income (if this does not exceed 50% of their income)
  • That the annual income of the pensioner for all concepts does not exceed the amount resulting from adding the limit which, every financial year, is planned for the examination of the minimum complements for contributory pensions, the annual amount which, every financial year, corresponds to the minimum widower's pension with dependent relatives.


Starting from 2 February 2011, 60% of the benefit base, when the following requirements are met:

  • Be >=65 years of age.
  • Have no right to the state pension.
  • Do not receive income for doing work as an employee or as a self-employed worker.
  • That the income/earnings received do not exceed, on an annual basis, the limit of income established at all times for being the beneficiary of the minimum widow/er's pension.

The application of the % will be carried out gradually over a period of 8 years, starting from 1 January 2012, with the following increments:

  • 2012: 53%                                                          
  • 2013: 54%      
  • 2014: 55%
  • 2015: 56%                                                          
  • 2016: 57%
  • 2017: 58%
  • 2018: 59%
  • Starting from 1 January 2019:   60%

Lump sum indemnity due to work-related injury or occupational disease. In the event of professional work-related injury or illness, is granted in addition to the pension, a lump sum indemnity equivalent to 6 monthly payments of the benefits base.


3. Compatibilities

With any work earnings of the beneficiary or retirement pension or permanent incapacity that they have the right to.

4. Termination

  • For remarrying or constituting an unmarried partnership, provided that the legally required provisions are accredited.
  • When declared guilty of the death of the deceased by a final judgement.
  • Due to death.
  • For checking that it did not pass away the disappeared hard-working person by chance.
  • A person who has been sentenced, by a final judgement, for a criminal offence of homicide or injuries against the deceased, except in reconciliation. In these suppositions the widow's pension will increase orphan benefits if it has them.