What the Widow’s, Widower’s or Surviving Civil Partner’s (Contributory) Pension is
Widow's, Widower's or Surviving Civil Partner's (Contributory) Pension is a weekly payment to the husband, wife or civil partner of a deceased person.
Either you or your deceased spouse or civil partner must have enough social insurance (PRSI) contributions.
How to qualify
Entitlement is based on either your or your late spouse or civil partner’s social insurance record. All contributions must have been made before the death of your spouse or civil partner. The two records cannot be combined when calculating entitlement.
To qualify, you or your late spouse or civil partner must have A and B (choice of 2 options for B):
A) at least 260 paid social insurance (PRSI) contributions paid up to the date of death of your spouse or civil partner, or before reaching pension age, whichever is earlier
B) a yearly average of either:
39 paid or credited social insurance (PRSI) contributions in either the three or five years before the death of your spouse or civil partner, or before reaching pension age, whichever is earlier (this is called the 'Short Yearly Average')
at least 24 paid or credited social insurance (PRSI) contributions from the year of first entry into social insurance (PRSI) until either the year of death of your spouse or civil partner, or the year of reaching pension age, whichever is earlier (this is called the 'Long Yearly Average')
Pension age, currently age 66, refers to the age of the person whose insurance record is being examined.
If you do not qualify for this pension
If you are:
Then you should apply for:
under 66 and have a qualified child
One-Parent Family Payment
under 66 and do not have a qualified child
Widow’s, Widower’s or Surviving Civil Partner’s (Non-contributory) Pension
aged 66 and over
State Pension (Non-contributory)
Rates of payment
To get your rate of payment, we first calculate your 'Short Yearly Average'. If this is 39 or greater, you will qualify for the maximum rate.
If it is below 39, we calculate your 'Long Yearly Average'. If this is 48, you will qualify for the maximum weekly rate. If it is 47 or less, you will qualify for a reduced rate of payment.
Aged under 66
Aged 66 or over
48 or more contributions
Pensions are paid weekly:
at your local post office using your Social Services Card or Public Services Card
by direct payment into your current or deposit (savings) account in your selected financial institution
If you live in the Republic of Ireland, you should complete the application form at the bottom of this page and send it with supporting documents to:
Widow’s, Widower’s or Surviving Civil Partner’s (Contributory) Pension
Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection, College Road
, F91 T384
If you live in an EU country or a country with which Ireland has a Bilateral Social Security Agreement, and you have paid social insurance in that country, you should apply to the social security agency in that country. They will send details of your application and relevant social insurance records to us.
We recommend that you apply for this pension as soon as possible after your spouse or civil partner dies and no later than six months after their passing.