Survivor’s pensions - ZUS
20 July 2023
The survivors’ pension is granted to eligible family members of a person who, at the time of death, held the established entitlement to the old-age pension or met the requirements to receive it, held the established entitlement to the bridging pension, or held the established entitlement to the disability pension or met the requirements for its award. When the right to the survivors’ pension is established by ZUS, it is assumed that the deceased person was completely incapable of work.
The survivors’ pension is also awarded to eligible family members of a person who – at the time of death – was a recipient of the pre-retirement benefit, the pre-retirement allowance or teachers’ compensatory allowance. In such case ZUS assumes that the person deceased has fulfilled the conditions to be awarded the pension in respect of total incapacity for work. The survivors’ pension is not granted if the deceased person was a recipient of the periodic funded pension.
The following persons have the right to the survivors’ pension:
- own children, children of the spouse, adopted children:
- until they reach 16 years of age,
- until completion of school education, if they are older than 16, but not longer than until they reach the age of 25 (if a child reaches the age of 25 in the last year of study at a tertiary level school, the right to the survivors’ pension is extended until the end of that year of study),
- irrespective of age, if they have become completely incapable of work before reaching the age of 16 or, if they continue their school education, before the age of 25,
- grandchildren, siblings and other children, if they meet the same
conditions as own children and in addition:
- have been taken in for upbringing and maintenance before reaching the age of majority at least one year before the death of the insured person or the pensioner, unless the death was the result of an accident (except for children taken in for upbringing and maintenance as part of a foster family or family home),
- are not entitled to a pension after the death of their parents, and when the parents are alive, they cannot provide for their maintenance, or the insured/pensioner or his/her spouse was the guardian of the children appointed by the court,
- spouse (widow or widower of an insured person, of a pensioner) if
he/she meets one of the following conditions:
- at the time of the spouse’s death was over 50 or was incapable of work,
- brings up at least one of the children, grandchildren or siblings who is entitled to a survivors’ pension after the spouse’s death and is under 16 or – if studying – under 18 years of age,
- is caring for a child who is completely incapable of work and of independent existence or completely incapable of work and entitled to a survivors’ pension,
- is over 50 years old or has become incapable of work within 5 years after the death of his/her spouse or after he/she had ceased to raise eligible children,
- divorced spouse, or a widow or widower who was not in a statutory marital community with the spouse at the time of his/her death, if they meet the conditions for a widow or widower and, in addition, were entitled to maintenance allowance from the spouse on the date of his/her death as determined by a court; and a former wife or separated wife if she proves that immediately before the death of the deceased she had been receiving maintenance allowance on the basis of an agreement between her and the deceased,
- spouse (a widow or widower) who does not meet the conditions but
does not have the necessary sources of maintenance; the right to the
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 or widower is attending a training course after which he/she is to be qualified for gainful employment,
- parent of the deceased (mother, father, stepfather, stepmother, adoptive person) who fulfils the conditions for a widow and widower if the deceased contributed to their maintenance immediately before death.
The survivors’ pension is granted to all eligible family members in one total amount. ZUS divides it equally between the eligible persons:
- for one eligible person – 85% of the benefit that the deceased would be entitled to,
- for two eligible persons – 90% of the benefit that the deceased would be entitled to,
- for more than two eligible persons – 95% of the benefit that the deceased would be entitled to. The recipient of the survivors’ pension may be granted a supplementary allowance for double orphan.
At the end of 2021, survivors’ pensions were usually collected by women (89.09% of the total number of beneficiaries).
In 2021 survivors’ pensions were received by 1,209.9 thousand persons, and an average monthly amount of the pension was PLN 2,353.63.