Gobierno de España. Ministerio de Hacienda. Secretaría de Estado de Presupuestos y Gastos - Dirección General de Costes de Personal
Sello Excelencia EVAM 200-299, año 2018
Clases Pasivas

Widowhood Pension




1.1 Individuals who are and who were the legitimate spouses of the person with a pension entitlement shall be entitled to the widow/widower's pension, provided they have not remarried or entered into a common law marriage

In cases of separation, divorce or annulment, access to a pension is conditional upon, having the right to the compensatory pension or indemnity referred to respectively in articles 97 and 98 of the Civil Code, this is extinguished by the death of the participant. The right to a widowhood pension is not conditional upon the requisite of being the accreditor of a compensatory pension when the beneficiary can prove they are in any of the following situations:

  • The victim of domestic violence at the time of the legal separation or divorce
  • Aged over 50 at the time of the death of the participant or that they had children together in the marriage, so long as they meet the following requisites:
    • The divorce or legal separation occurred prior to 1 January 2008.
    • A period of no more than 10 years has passed between the time of the divorce or separation and the death of the participant.
    • The marriage lasted at least 10 years.

1.2 Individuals who were in a common law marriage with the person with a pension entitlement at the time of their death shall be entitled to a widow/widower's pension, provided they meet the following requirements:

a) The participant and the beneficiary:

  • Had a similar relationship to that of a married couple,
  • They were not married to another person or had impediments to enter into marriage.
  • They can prove, by reason of the electoral register certificate, that they had been living together with the participant in a stable, publicly known, uninterrupted relationship for at least five years immediately prior to the participant’s death.
  • There is a public formalisation of the de facto relationship, proven by:
    • A registration certificate at any of the specific registers of the Autonomous Communities or City Councils of the place of residence,
    • A public document which states the establishment of the couple.

In both cases the formalisation should have been made at least two years’ before the date of death.

b)The survivor’s income does not exceed:

  • during the previous year:
    • 50 percent of the sum of his/her own and that of the participant when they have children together who are entitled to an orphan’s pension.
    • 25 percent if there are no children together entitled to an orphan’s pension.
  • or when the partner’s income is less than 1.5 times the minimum wage in force at the time of death (a requisite that should be upheld for as long as the pension is received). This limit rises by 0.5 times the minimum wage for each child they have together entitled to an orphan’s pension and living with the surviving partner.


A temporary widowhood pension shall be provided for two years, worth the same amount as the widowhood pension that would have corresponded, to people who in the event of the death of the participant from a common illness, not following the marriage, cannot prove a minimum period of one year of marriage to entitle them to said pension except where:

  • They have children together
  • A period of over two years of living together can be proven, included that proven as a de facto relationship.

The temporary widow/widower’s benefit, in the event that a temporary maintenance had been established, shall expire on the same date that the maintenance does.

Extinction of Pension

The right to a widowhood pension shall expire if the beneficiary remarries or forms another de facto relationship.

However, people who marrying after 1 January 2002 may still receive the widowhood pension so long as each and all of the following requisites are met:

  • The pension holder is over 61 or, if younger, has been recognised as having a permanent disability that renders him/her unable to carry out any profession or function.
  • The widowhood pension is the pensioner’s main source of income (it should account for at least 75% of his/her income).
  • The total income of the new married couple does not exceed the annual calculation of double the minimum wage in force at the time.

In any case, anyone condemned under a final hearing as having maliciously committed a homicide of any form or malicious injury to person shall lose the condition of beneficiary of the widowhood pension when the victim of the crime was the pension participant, except where, if applicable, there was a reconciliation between them.

Pension calculation

The amount of the widow/widower's pension is 50% of the basis for calculation, or 25% in the event that the person entitled to the pension died after being declared incapacitated while on or as a result of active duty and they were assigned the corresponding extraordinary pension

However, from 1 August 2018, the percentage will be 54 per cent or 27 per cent when the following requirements are met simultaneously and at all times by the beneficiary:

  1. To be at least 65 years old.
  2. Not entitled to another Spanish or foreign state pension. This increase shall be compatible with those public pensions, whether Spanish or foreign, the amount of which does not exceed the amount of said increase. In such cases, the increase in the widowhood pension shall be paid exclusively on the basis of the difference between the amount of this pension and that of the pension received by the beneficiary.
  3. No income for the performance of a job as an employed or self-employed person.
  4. No income from capital, economic activities or capital gains, in accordance with that established for said income in the Personal Income Tax, which, on an annual basis, exceeds the income limit established in the corresponding General State Budget Law in order to receive the minimum widowhood pension.

From 1 January 2019 the percentage applicable to the regulatory base will be 58 percent and 29 percent.

Where there are several beneficiaries entitled to the widowhood pension from the same deceased person, this improvement in the pension of the beneficiaries who meet the conditions laid down shall be applied to the same extent as is taken into account for the recognition of the pension.

Royal Decree 1413/2018, of 2 December (BOE 291, 03/12/2018), establishes that this increase will be recognised at the request of the interested parties, who must present a statement specifying that their income in the year of the request does not exceed the limit established in Article 2 d) of the RD.

However, all widow/widower's pensions recognised before 4 December 2018 will be reviewed, unless the beneficiary of the pension resides abroad or if their pension is recognised by the European Regulations on the coordination of Social Security systems or Bilateral Social Security Agreements.

The economic effects of this review will come into effect from 1 August 2018 or from the date of first payment if this should be late.

In the case of divorce, when various beneficiaries are entitled to a pension, this shall be admitted in the amount proportional to the time they each lived with the participant, guaranteeing 40 percent to the surviving spouse or de facto partner of the participant

In the case of annulment of a marriage, entitlement to a pension shall be admitted in the amount proportional to the time the beneficiary lived with the participant, regardless of whether there are other beneficiaries entitled to a pension, without prejudice to the guarantee of 40% to the surviving spouse or de facto partner.

Divorced or legally separated persons who draw a widowhood pension starting from 1 January 2010 will have the pension amount reduced (or that of the temporary benefit where applicable) if it is more than the compensatory pension, and brought into line with same.

This reduction shall not apply in proven cases of victims of domestic violence at the time of the divorce or legal separation.

Maternity supplement on widow’s pensions after 1 January 2016

Those women who have given birth to or adopted children will be eligible for a pension supplement of an amount equivalent to the result of applying to the corresponding pension they are eligible for a percentage in terms of the number of children born or adopted prior to the event that gave rise to the eligibility for the pension, according to the following scale:
  • In the case of 2 children: 5 per cent.
  • In the case of 3 children: 10  per cent.
  • In the case of 4 or more children: 15  per cent.
a) If the amount of the pension for which they are eligible is equal to or greater than the maximum pension limit, only 50 per cent of the supplement will be paid, even in cases where there is a concurrence of public pensions.
b) If the pension for which the interested party is eligible does not reach the minimum pension amount and she requests it and meets the requirements to receive the minimum supplement, the maternity supplement will be added.
c) In the event that both public widow/widower’s pensions and retirement pensions are received at the same time, regardless of the System under which they fall, the maternity supplement corresponding to the retirement pension shall be paid.