Survivors' (bereavement) benefits

19 October 2017.

An essential condition of survivors’ benefits is that the owner of rights (the deceased) must have acquired the necessary service time required for old-age pensions or died as an old-age pensioner. If the right holder had not reached the retirement age at the time of their death, the required service time shall be determined accordingly to the age reached at the time of death.

Widow’s or widower’s pension may be granted to the spouse, the divorced spouse and the domestic partner (hereinafter referred to as spouse).

A widow(er) is – as a main rule – entitled to a temporary widow(er)’s pension up to one year after the death of a spouse. Widows/widowers are entitled for temporary widow’s/widower’s pension if they care for a child who is younger than one and a half years and is entitled, on the basis of the deceased’s rights, for orphans’ allowance, until the orphan turns 18 months old. If the child is disabled or permanently ill, the temporary widow’s/widowers’ pension may be disbursed until the third birthday of the child.

Eligibility for a permanent widow’s or widower’s pension becomes due after the temporary widow’s/widower’s pension has ended, where the applicant has reached the retirement age for old-age pension, has a changed working capacity, or looks after at least two orphans (or an orphan with disability or permanent illness) of the owner of rights. Entitlement to a permanent widow’s/widower’s pension also arises if any of the aforementioned conditions is met within 10 years of the death of a spouse.

The temporary widow’s/widower’s pension amounts to 60% of any pension that was due, or would have been due to the deceased. The permanent widow’s/widower’s pension also amounts to 60% if the widow or widower does not dispose of pension on own right.  If the widow/widower receives pension on own right, the widow’s/widower’s pension amounts to 30% of the pension of the owner of rights. The surviving spouse is entitled to the latter amount irrespective of the amount of the awarded pension on own right.

Children – including children living in a household of married parents or parents in domestic partnership, children from previous marriages or domestic partnerships and adopted children –, as well as siblings and grandchildren – including great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren, if the deceased party was raising them in their own household and such child has no other maintenance debtor, are entitled to orphans’ allowances.

Orphans’ allowance is paid to children under the age of 16 or until they complete full-time education, but up to the age of 25. Orphans’ allowance amounts to 30% of the owner of rights’ pension and to 60% in the event of both parents dying or if the surviving parent is disabled. The amount of orphans’ allowance may not be less than an annually determined minimum, i.e. HUF 24,250 in 2017. 

The pension system also includes parental pension, as a dependents’ benefit. In order to be eligible for this, beyond the general eligibility criteria, the following must apply: it was predominantly the child, who, during the last year before his /her death, supported the parent involved who was disabled at the death of the child or they already reached the age of 65. (The number of recipients of parental pension is less than 100 persons, at present.)

The above also applies for dependents (widow/widower, orphan, and parent) of the insured person dying as a result of an industrial accident (occupational injury).