Benefits from the pension fund of the deceased partner in cases of cohabitation

If one cohabiting partner dies, what benefits will be paid out from this partner's pension fund?

Each pension fund specifies what benefits it will pay to the surviving partner upon the death of the other partner in cases of cohabitation. In general, the Federal Act on Employee Benefits Insurance does not provide for such death benefits.

Currently, the Federal Act on Employee Benefits Insurance does not provide for any death benefits for cohabitating partners of decedents. However, by law the pension funds can stipulate voluntary survivors' benefits in their regulations: If the decedent had a continuous domestic partnership for at least five years until the time of his/her death, the surviving partner would receive a benefit. This also applies to persons who must pay the living expenses for at least one child from the relationship.

Check the Pension Fund Regulations for Details

Therefore it's a good idea to check your pension fund's regulations to see whether your partner may be eligible for death benefits and what conditions apply to eligibility. If eligible, the type and scope of benefits such as lump-sum death benefits or a survivors' pension are generally shown in the pension certificate. The pension certificate (pension fund statement) is issued annually by the pension fund. Most pension funds also require that the cohabitation be reported in writing for it to be accepted.