Chapter VII: Survivors’ benefits
When are you entitled to survivors’ benefits?
There are general and specific conditions governing the payment of survivors’ pensions. General conditions apply to the deceased insured person and specific ones to the widow/er or other family members.
General conditions regarding the deceased
Surviving family members may be entitled to a survivor’s pension if the deceased:
completed at least 5 years of insurance periods or at least 10 years of pension
qualifying periods (including credited non-contributory periods), fulfilled the eligibility conditions for an old-age or invalidity pension, or
already enjoyed an old-age or invalidity pension or other benefits on the grounds of invalidity.
Special conditions for Widow’s or Widower’s pension
The following family members may be entitled to a Widow’s or Widower’s Pension (vdovska pokojnina): the surviving spouse, the cohabitating partner (if cohabitation lasted for at least three years, or at least one year if there is a common child) and the maintained divorced spouse.
They might be entitled, if they have reached a certain age, for instance 53 years. If only 48 years are reached the payment is postponed until 53 years of age (ages are lowered if the widow or widower is not insured at the time of death of the insured person), they are completely incapable of work or become incapable within one year after the death, irrespective of age, or they are left with a child who is entitled to a Family Pension (družinska pokojnina) and the duty to maintain the child exists, or such child is born within 300 days after the death.
Special condition for the Family Pension
Those who may be entitled to a Family Pension (družinska pokojnina) due to the death of an insured person are his or her:
children (born within or out of marriage, or adopted);
step-children, grandchildren or other orphaned children, maintained by the deceased;
parents (father and mother, step-father and step-mother) and adoptive parents, if they were maintained by the deceased at the time of death;
brothers and sisters, maintained by the deceased and without other means of subsistence.
Children are entitled to the survivor’s pension until the age of 15, or 18 (if registered as unemployed), or until they have completed their full-time education (attendance must be proved) but not beyond 26 years of age. A child who becomes completely incapable of working while still entitled to a survivor’s pension remains entitled to this pension as long as the incapacity lasts.
Parents maintained by the deceased at the time of death are entitled to the family
pension if they have reached the age of 58 years, or if they are disabled and cannot work.
Dependent brothers and sisters of the deceased are entitled to a Family Pension, if they
meet the qualifying conditions either for children or for parents.
Death Grant and Reimbursement of Funeral Expenses
Both are rights from the mandatory health insurance, and conditional upon a certain prior insurance period. They have to be claimed within 6 months of the death of the insured.
Death Grant (posmrtnina) is a lump-sum one time benefit to the family members of the deceased, who were maintained by the deceased insured person. It is assumed that they were dependent on the deceased, if they had mandatory health insurance as his or her family members. Funeral expenses (pogrebnina) are (partially) reimbursed to the person who paid for the funeral of the deceased insured person.
What is covered?
Widow’s or Widower’s Pension
Widow’s or Widower’s Pension amounts to 70% of the deceased’s pension (old-age or invalidity) or the pension to which the deceased would have been entitled at time of death.
A widow or widower who has the right to his or her own pension is entitled, in addition, to 15% of the Widow’s or Widower’s Pension, up to a certain limit. The amount of both pensions may not exceed that of an old-age pension calculated for a man from the highest calculation basis for a 40-year insurance period. If a widow/er would be entitled to one from a selection of pensions, he or she may choose the most favourable (i.e. the highest) pension.
The same rules apply to a divorced spouse who was entitled to maintenance from the deceased until his or her death. If the deceased remarried but continued to maintain the former spouse, then the last spouse and all other ex-spouses are treated as cobeneficiaries.
The percentage of the Family Pension depends on the number of entitled persons, as follows:
for a single member it amounts to 70% of the deceased person’s pension,
for two members it amounts to 80%,
for three members to 90%, and
for four or more members the Family Pension amounts to 100% of the deceased person’s pension at the time of death.
Each child bereaved of both parents is entitled, in addition to Family Pension from one of the parents, to 30% of the pension calculation base of the other parent (up to a certain limit). However, the total amount of additions for all children may not exceed 100% of the pension calculation bases of the other parent.
A widow/widower who does not meet the conditions for a Widow’s or Widower’s Pension and who is not employed or self-employed and thus not compulsorily insured, has a right to an Indemnity (odpravnina) of six monthly sums equivalent to what he or she would have received, had he or she been entitled to a Widow’s or Widower’s Pension.
Maintenance Grant (oskrbnina) may be claimed after the right to Indemnity has been exhausted, in order to provide minimum resources.
How are survivors’ benefits accessed?
Claims must be made at the branch office of the Pension and Invalidity Insurance Institute of Slovenia where the deceased was last insured. Death Grant and Reimbursement of Funeral Expenses have to be claimed at the local branch office of the Health Insurance Institute of Slovenia. Funeral expenses can also be claimed by the public institute managing the funeral, if an agreement with the Health Insurance Institute of Slovenia has been concluded.
Your right to survivors benefits when moving within Europe
In general, the rules which apply to pensions for surviving spouses or orphans and death grants are the same as the ones applying to invalidity and old-age pensions (see chapters V and VI). Namely, survivors’ pensions and death grants have to be paid without any reduction, modification or suspension regardless of where the surviving spouse resides in the European Union, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland.∗
Further information about the coordination of social security rights when moving or travelling can be found at http://ec.europa.eu/social-security-coordination.