Survivor’s pension in Sweden

Familie som går på et fortov
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As a surviving spouse or cohabiting partner, you may be entitled to an adjustment pension in Sweden. Read about the Swedish regulations for financial support in the event of a death, and about widow’s pension and child pension. You can also find out when and how you apply for financial support from the Swedish Pensions Agency when a close relative dies.

In Swede, when a close relative dies, you can receive survivor’s pension as financial support. Survivor’s pension is a financial security that covers part of the income that the deceased contributed.

Survivor’s pension is part of the retirement pension, and comprises child’s pension, adjustment pension, and widow’s pension. What you are entitled to depends on whether you are under 18, a spouse/partner or a widow.

Survivor’s pension if you live in Sweden.

When the Swedish Pensions Agency (Pensionsmyndigheten) is informed by the Swedish Tax Agency (Skatteverket) that someone who lives in Sweden has died, the Swedish Pensions Agency assesses whether there are survivors who are entitled to some form of survivor’s pension. When one of your close relatives dies, the Swedish Pensions Agency will send you information if you are entitled to survivor’s pension.

In some cases, the agency may ask you for further information before they can decide whether you are entitled to survivor’s pension. In such a case, the agency sends you a letter and asks you to provide the missing information.

Survivor’s pension comprises the following benefits to close relatives.

Survivor’s pension consists of three different benefits. Depending on whether you are under 18, a married/registered partner, or a widow, you may be entitled to financial support when a close relative dies.

Children may be entitled to a child’s pension

A child may receive survivor’s pension if one or both parents are dead. You are also regarded as a child if you are aged 18-20 and are studying at secondary or upper secondary school. Child’s pension is paid until you are at least 18.

A spouse/partner may be entitled to an adjustment pension

If you are under 66, and your spouse or registered partner with whom you cohabit dies, you may receive adjustment pension. This also applies if you live together but are not married, have had or are expecting a child together, or if you have previously been married or registered partners. Adjustment pension is paid for one year. The right to adjustment pension is extended if you are the legal guardian of a minor.

A widow may be entitled to a widow’s pension

If you are a woman and were married to your spouse on 31 December 1989, you can receive a widow’s pension. If you were born in 1945 or later, and were married all the time until the death, you can receive a widow’s pension if you earned less than your husband.

If you are younger than 66, you receive primarily adjustment pension. You may be entitled to a widow’s pension for the rest of your life, but widow’s pension is generally reduced with part of your retirement pension when you become 66, or earlier if you decide to draw your pension earlier.

Death from occupational injury

If the death was caused by an occupational injury, the estate can receive help with funeral expenses. As survivor you may also be entitled to an annuity (efterlevandelivränta).

Other pensions you may be entitled to

Apart from the retirement pension, there are many other pensions. As a relative, you may also be entitled to financial support from collective agreement-based or occupational pensions from the deceased’s employer. Contact them for further information.

Some people also have private pension insurances that often include support to survivors. This means you may receive financial support from the deceased’s pension insurance.

Survivor’s pension if you live outside Sweden

Swedish survivor’s pension is based on Swedish conditions, and serves as financial support to cover part of the income that the deceased contributed to.

The requirement for entitlement to Swedish survivor’s pension is that the deceased at some time worked or lived in Sweden.

Survivor’s pension is exclusively based on the deceased’s pension that he or she earned in Sweden. It is not paid as a fixed amount that applies for everyone. If the deceased had a low pensionable income in Sweden, the survivor’s pension is also low. This applies regardless of whether the survivor has low or no pension in the country in which he or she lives.

If you live outside Sweden, you must apply for survivor’s pension. You also need to apply if the survivor is a child and the dead parents never lived in Sweden.

The Swedish Pensions Agency can give you more information if you or the deceased live/lived or work/worked in another Nordic country, or if you and the deceased lived in two different countries.

Guide to survivors

In collaboration with the Swedish Tax Agency and the Swedish Social Insurance Agency (Försäkringskassan), the Swedish Pensions Agency has produced a Survivors Guide (Efterlevandeguiden) to make it easier for you if you have lost someone close to you.

The guide is digital, and describes, for example, what practical activities you should begin with when a close relative dies, and what you can expect in the months ahead and subsequent years in terms of division of the estate, inheritance, the estate and grief.

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