Who is entitled to widow(er)’s pension?

When an employee passes away, the surviving spouse (also referred to as a widow, if female, or widower, if male) is entitled to receive pension benefits. To qualify for pension benefits, a widow(er) must meet certain criteria. You are only eligible to receive a widow(er)’s pension, once you have been legally registered as married to the deceased. Important to note is that the marriage must have taken take prior to the deceased reaching the age of 60 years.

Former spouses (if applicable) may be entitled to a widow(er)’s pension as well, depending on whether the marriage coincided with the participant’s service.

When do I receive a widow(er)’s pension?

In the event a participant (both active employees, persons with deferred benefits and pension beneficiaries) passes away, the spouse of the deceased participant is entitled to widow(er)’s pension benefits for life.

You can’t get any of the pension benefits if you were divorced from your husband or wife when they die.

What do you need to find out before you can determine what benefits your spouse is entitled to?

You need to find out what kind(s) of retirement benefits you are entitled to as a result of your employment.

How do I apply for widow(er)’s pension?

In the untimely event of the passing of your wife/husband, you are requested to contact APS immediately to initiate your application process.

Among the documents to be presented to APS will be a death certificate, marriage certificate and proof of residence (obtained at the census bureau / civil registry).

How much can you expect in widow(er)’s pension benefits?

70% of the amount in senior’s pension benefit is available for widow(er)’s pension benefits for the (former) spouse(s) of the deceased participant. The pension benefits for (a) former spouse(s) is deducted from the total of the widow(er)’s pension benefit.

How is payment of widow(er)’s pension made?

To receive your pension payment, it is important that you keep a bank account. All pensions are transferred to a bank account of your choice. If you reside in the Netherlands, you will require an ING bank account.


Calculation Example

Mr. X passed away while on active duty. He leaves behind a wife and one minor child who are each entitled to a widow’s and orphan’s pension benefit respectively. Seeing that Mr. X started working and paying into the pension fund from January 1, 1999, he would have been able to fulfill a total of 15 years and 6 months of active duty, had he not passed away. His surviving wife and child are each entitled to 70% respectively 14% of the amount of pension benefits that Mr. X would have received had he not passed away.


Example 1: Calculation when participant was already receiving a senior’s pension before passing away
Example 2: Calculation when participant was still working and contributing to the fund before passing away

Example 1 & Example 2 widow & Orphan’s Pension