Pension Widow’s pensions: the most important points

How much is a widow’s pension? Who is entitled to receive one? We answer these and other questions in this article.

29 Mar 2021

Widow’s pension, widower’s pension or orphan’s pension: in the event of death, surviving spouses (including divorced spouses) are entitled to receive a pension to ensure financial security. In Switzerland, pillars 1 (AHV) and 2 (occupational pension) both pay widows a widow’s pension. Compulsory accident insurance and military insurance also provide a survivor’s pension.

In the following sections, this article addresses the most important questions and answers about AHV and pillar 2 survivor’s pensions.

Despite widow’s pensions, early pension planning is important

A widow’s pension alone does not provide sufficient financial security in every case – especially for same-sex or cohabiting couples.

Even if we don’t like to think about it, we should envisage such worst-case scenarios early on. This applies to your own pension provision as well as to topics such as the transmission of assets or additional protection from life insurance. It’s also worth discussing financial topics like these with your partner. Find out how to do so here.

You should also obtain information from the AHV and your pension fund

In addition to widow’s pensions, Switzerland also offers a widower’s pension for surviving men and an orphan’s pension for surviving children. Different conditions apply to these pensions.

For more information on survivors’ pensions for widows, widowers and orphans, please refer to the AHV factsheet as well as the website For questions about the survivor’s pension under pillar 2, it’s best to contact your pension fund.

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