THE RIGHT TO SURVIVORS' PENSION

Family members of a deceased insured person are entitled to a survivors’ pension if the person from whom the right is executed (the deceased person) fulfilled one of the following conditions:

  • Completed at least 5 years of insurance periods or at least 10 years of qualifying periods, or
  • Met the requirements relating to the length of qualifying periods for acquiring the right to a disability pension due to complete loss of working capacity, or
  • Was a beneficiary of an old-age, early retirement or disability pension, or
  • Was a beneficiary of the right to occupational rehabilitation.

If the death of an insuree or insured person occurred as a result of an accident at work or occupational disease, his or her family members have the right to a survivors’ pension regardless of the length of qualifying periods completed.

 

The right to a survivors’ pension may not be acquired by a family member of an insured person or pension beneficiary who intentionally caused the death of the insured person or pension beneficiary, and was convicted of this criminal offence by a legally effective judgement to incarceration, and cannot be acquired by a family member of a deceased insuree, insured person or pension beneficiary who intentionally incapacitated himself or herself for work to acquire the right to a survivors’ pension.

 

A widow / widower / extramarital partner has the right to a survivors’ pension:

  • If he or she reached 50 years of age before the death of his or her spouse, or
  • If he or she is younger than 50, but suffered a complete loss of working capacity before the death of his or her spouse or within one year of the death of his or her spouse, or
  • If his or her spouse left one or more children entitled to a survivors’ pension and the widow / widower or extramarital partner performs parental duties in respect of these children. If during this entitlement such person experiences a general inability to work, he or she retains the right to a survivors’ pension as long as this inability exists.

A widow / widower or extramarital partner who did not reach 50 years of age before the death of his or her spouse, but was older than 45, shall acquire the right to a survivors’ pension when he or she reaches 50 years of age.

A widow / widower or extramarital partner who reached 50 years of age while exercising the right to a survivors’ pension acquired shall retain the right to a survivors’ pension on a permanent basis, and if he or she was divested of this right between the ages of 45 and 50, he or she may re-acquire it when he or she reaches 50 years of age.

A widow is also entitled to a survivors’ pension when a child was born to the insured person after his death. In such case, a widow exercises the right to a survivors’ pension from the date of the insured person’s death.

An extramarital partner is entitled to a survivors’ pension if such extramarital partnership existed and lasted at least three years.

The right to a survivors’ pension is also granted to a divorced spouse, provided that he or she is entitled to support by a court decision.

 

A child acquires the right to a survivors’ pension:

  • If at the time of death of his or her parent, he or she is under the age of 15, or younger than 18 in periods of unemployment
  • If a complete loss of working capacity occurs, until the age at which the child is entitled to a survivors’ pension, then the child is entitled to a survivors’ pension for as long as such loss exists
  • If a general incapacity to work occurs after the age at which the child is entitled to a survivors’ pension, and before the death of the insured person or the beneficiary of the right, the child is entitled to a survivors’ pension if such child was supported by the deceased person before his or her death
  • If he or she is in regular schooling at the time of the insured person’s death or if he or she enters regular schooling after the insured person’s death.

Children are entitled to this right until the end of regular schooling, but not after they reach 26 years of age. If a child’s regular schooling was interrupted due to illness, the child has the right to a survivors’ pension and may exercise this right for the duration of illness – up to the age of 26 and beyond, but for a period not longer than the time he or she lost due to illness, provided that the child’s regular schooling continued before he or she reached 26 years of age.

A child with a status of a disabled person with the remaining working capacity has the right to a survivors’ pension after the death of his or her parent and shall not lose this right after he or she finds employment, however pension payment shall be suspended during the term of insurance coverage.

A child who experienced a complete loss of working capacity at the time when exercising the right to survivors’ pension, shall be entitled to such right for as long as the complete loss of working capacity lasts, and shall not lose this right after he or she finds employment, however pension payment shall be suspended during the term of insurance coverage.

 

A parent of a deceased insured person or beneficiary whom the insured person or beneficiary supported until his or her death is entitled to a survivors’ pension:

  • If, before the insured person’s or beneficiary’s death, he or she reached the age of 60, or
  • If he or she is younger than 60 but experienced a complete loss of working capacity at the time the insured person or the beneficiary died, for as long as such disability lasts.

 

The right to survivors’ pension shall terminate by marriage or registration of an extramarital partnership for:

  • A widow or widower younger than 50, unless they obtained that right based on a complete loss of working capacity
  • Children of the insured person, siblings and other parentless children, with the exception of children who are entitled to it based on a complete loss of working capacity and children attending regular schooling, as well as children with a status of disabled person with the remaining working capacity

 

Your right to survivors’ pension when you move within the European Union

The rules that apply to the old-age pension also refer to the survivors’ pension according to the regulations of the European Union.

Survivors’ pension will be paid regardless of the place of residence of the surviving spouse / extramarital partner in any Member State.

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QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

The right to survivors’ pension can be obtained at the earliest from the first day of the following month after the month in which the insured person or beneficiary of the pension or the beneficiary of the right to occupational rehabilitation (from whom the right is executed) has died.

The procedure is initiated by submitting an application to the regional service / local office / branch office of the Croatian Pension Insurance Institute according to the permanent or temporary place of residence of the person submitting the application. If the applicant’s place of residence is located abroad, the regional service or office of the last insurance is competent.

According to Article 62, paragraph 1, item 1 of the Pension Insurance Act, a widow shall be entitled to survivors’ pension if she reached 50 years of age before the death of her spouse from whom she derives this right. If she is employed or self-employed on the basis of which she is insured, she is not entitled to a survivors’ pension, and such pension shall be paid from the first day after the termination of her employment or self-employment. The fact that your mother resides in Bosnia and Herzegovina has no influence on her right to obtain the pension. In case your parents were divorced, your mother would have the right to survivors’ pension if the competent court granted such support by its court decision.

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