Widows Benefits

VIII. Widow's benefits – The death payment ("Capital décès")
France's social security scheme for self-employed workers

For more information: please refer to RSI's brochure.

A. The survivor's pension from the basic scheme

The survivor's pension is a pension awarded to the surviving spouse.

It amounts to a portion of the basic retirement pension which the deceased member was receiving or would have been eligible for.

1. Eligibility requirements

  • The surviving spouse must be at least 55 years old at the time of the member's death,
  • The surviving spouse must be the widow or widower of a craftsperson or shopkeeper, OR be the ex-spouse of a deceased member, regardless of his/her current marital status (divorced, remarried) and of the duration of the marriage,
  • His/her income must not exceed a given ceiling: 20,300.80 € per year for a single person or 32,481.28 € for a couple.

2. Benefits

The survivor's pension from the basic scheme amounts to 54% of the entitlements which the deceased spouse had or would have been awarded.

If the surviving spouse is currently drawing a dependent spouse benefit, this will end and be substituted by the survivor's pension.

If the eligibility requirements are met, the survivor's pension can be paid alongside:

  • The Elderly solidarity allowance ("Allocation de solidarité aux personnes âgées" / ASPA)
  • The Additional disability allowance ("Allocation supplémentaire invalidité" / ASI) A survivor's pension increase for dependent children plus a child-related top-up 10% of the total amount of the survivor's pension)
  • A survivor's pension top-up.

For shopkeepers: if the deceased spouse had paid contributions to the "spouses' scheme" ("régime des conjoints") prior to December 31st, 2003, the point-based survivor's pension can be increased to 75% when the widow or widower reaches age 65, or at age 60 in the event of unfitness for work, if the length of marriage and contribution requirements are met.

B. The survivor's pension from the supplementary scheme

1. Eligibility requirements

The eligibility requirements are the same as for the survivor's pension from the basic scheme.

However, the financial requirements are different: the survivor's personal or household income must not exceed a certain ceiling which has been set at 77,232 €.

2. Benefits

The survivor's pension from the supplementary scheme amounts to 60% of the entitlement which the deceased spouse had or would have been awarded.

C. The death payment ("Capital décès")

The death payment ("capital décès") guarantees payment of a benefit to the deceased member's beneficiaries.

1. Eligibility requirements

The employed or retired member's death benefit is paid as a matter of first priority to beneficiaries who were actually, fully and permanently financially dependent on the member at the time of his/her death. These beneficiaries must have personal income of less than 9,609.60 € for a single person (this is the income cap that applies to applicants for the elderly solidarity allowance ["Allocation de solidarité aux personnes âgées"/ ASPA]).

The death payment ("capital décès") is paid to people in this situation, who are treated as "dependents".

  • Otherwise, the death payment ("capital décès") will be paid to any person who was financially dependent on the member at the time of death and comes forward within one month of the death.
  • If nobody comes forward before that deadline, the death payment will be awarded to the surviving spouse if not legally or physically separated at the time of death.

2. Amounts

  • If the deceased member was paying contributions, the death payment amounts to 7,845.60 € (20% of the annual Social Security ceiling).
  • If s/he was retired, beneficiaries will be eligible for a payment of 3,138.24 € (8% of the annual Social Security ceiling that was applicable on the date of death).
  • In addition to the main death payment, an additional payment of 1,961.40 € (5% of the annual Social Security ceiling) can be awarded if there are dependent children (orphans). It can be paid:
    • to the deceased member's dependent children who were under the age of 16 at the time of death,
    • to the deceased member's children between the ages of 16 and 20 if they are enrolled in school or undergoing an apprenticeship,
    • to the deceased member's children of any age if they are receiving disability-related benefits.

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