Benefits for survivors

Survivor’s pension is intended to ensure subsistence income for a surviving spouse, registered partner, or cohabiter following the death of the other party.

The rules regarding benefits for surviving spouse who works, is registered as a jobbseeker or participate in an approved education, have changed as of 1 January 2016.

This information applies to those of you who will be applying for supplemental benefits (childcare and tuition fees) after 1 January 2016.

Who can get benefits as the surviving spouse?

You may be entitled to survivor's pension if you were married to the deceased for at least 5 years or you had a child with the deceased. You may also be entitled to survivor's pension if you have custody of the deceased's child. You must have been married for at least 5 years or have had custody for at least 5 years. A surviving registered partner is entitled to benefits on the same terms and conditions as surviving spouses. The same applies to a surviving cohabitant if he or she had a child with the deceased cohabitant or had previously been married to the deceased cohabitant.

In certain circumstances a survivor's pension may be paid if you were divorced from the deceased. People who have not remarried are, as a general rule, entitled to a pension if his or her former spouse dies within 5 years after the divorce if the marriage lasted for at least 25 years, or at least 15 years if they had a child.

As a rule, the surviving spouse must be a member of the National Insurance Scheme. Exceptions may be made from this rule in certain circumstances. The deceased must have been a member of the National Insurance Scheme for the last 3 years prior to his or her death. Exceptions may also be made from this rule in certain circumstances. Surviving spouses that do not satisfy the conditions for entitlement to survivor's pension may be entitled to transitional benefit for a transitional period after the death of their spouse.

Surviving children may be entitled to children's pension.

What can you get?

Pension and transitional benefit are made up of basic pension, supplemental pension, and/or special supplement.

You will get full basic pension if the deceased lived in Norway for 40 years. Full basic pension is normally equivalent to the basic amount ("G")

supplemental pension is calculated on the spouse’s previous employment income and how many years he/she received employment income. supplemental pension amounts to 55% of the supplemental pension the deceased would have received if he/she had entitlement to disability pension or retirement pension at the time of death.

Read more about the regulations governing the calculation of pension

Supplemental benefits

To be eligible for supplemental benefits as a surviving spouse, you must satisfy one of these conditions:

Many employees are in a service pension scheme. A number of these schemes provide a survivor’s pension often with slightly different terms and conditions to those of the National Insurance Act. For further information, you should approach the deceased’s last employer if the deceased was working up to his/her death.

You will find links below to some public schemes that may be relevant:

Work and pension

The pension will be reduced if you have or can be expected to have your own employment income. If your employment income is higher than half the basic amount, 40% of the excess will be deducted from the pension. If you are under the age of 55, it will be assumed as a starting point that you have employment income of at least twice the basic amount. The first year after the death is considered a period of transition. There will be no requirement for you to have your own income. The pension will however, be reduced if you have actual income.

For persons coming to Norway

First you must check whether you will become a member of the National Insurance Scheme.

Survivor’s pension can only be granted if the deceased was a member of the National Insurance Scheme, and in addition, if you meet the requirements for receiving benefit.

How long can you get survivor’s pension?

The pension will cease if you marry again or have children with a new cohabiter.

Survivor’s pension may not be combined with contractual pension (AFP) from the public sector or from the private sector withdrawn before 1.1.2011 (old scheme). A survivor’s pension may in some cases be combined with a contractual pension (AFP) from the private sector, in effect from 1.1.2011. 

The survivor’s pension will cease if you qualify for old-age pension from age 67. As a recipient of old-age pension, you may qualify for a survivor’s supplement to your pension. If you qualify for disability benefit, the survivor’s pension will also cease. In this case, you may choose whether to retain your survivor’s pension or to receive disability benefits with a survivor's supplement.

How do you apply?

Apply for survivor’s pension

You must apply for survivor’s pension by using the form NAV 17-01.05.

Apply for child care benefit because of work or support for tution fees for education

You apply by using the form "Søknad om stønad til barnetilsyn på grunn av arbeid og stønad til skolepenger til gjenlevende ektefelle/partner/samboer og til ugift familiepleier under 67 år"

The form contains information and guidance. It is important that you read this before completing the form. If you would like help to complete it, please call NAV, telphone 55 55 33 34. The application form contains information about documentary evidence that you need to include in the application.

You should send the completed application form to NAV Pensjon, Postboks 6600 Etterstad, 0607 Oslo.

Apply for supplemental benefits

If you apply for supplemental benefits in connection with approved training programme or course of education, you must send an online application from

Report changes

Changes in your income, family situation and/or work situation may affect the payment you receive from the Norwegian Labour and Welfare Administration. Stays abroad may also affect your payment. You must therefore immediately report any such changes to your local NAV office.


Your money will normally be in your account by the 20th of each month, see more information about payments. Some benefits are paid earlier in December.

You can also check your payments on the Your payments service.

Most of the main information about your entitlements and duties is available here in English. There are also links to other more detailed information; however, some of this information is only available in Norwegian.