The death grant is paid to the person who bore the costs of the funeral of the insured person. Close relatives receive a uniform death grant of one seventh of the reference amount, irrespective of the actual costs of the funeral. For example, if the insured person died in 2011, the death benefit in the old federal states amounts to 4,380.00 euros and in the new federal states to 3,840.Third parties (e.g. friends, a neighbour, the employer) who paid the funeral receive a death benefit in the amount of the actual costs incurred, up to a maximum of one seventh of the reference amount.
In addition to the death benefit, the BGHW may, under certain conditions, also assume the costs of transporting the insured person to the place of burial if the insured person did not die at the place of the permanent family home as a result of the insured event.
The pensions paid to surviving dependants are intended to compensate family members for the maintenance payable on the death of the insured person. All survivors’ pensions together may not exceed 80 per cent of the insured person’s annual earnings from employment. The BGHW can pay a survivor’s pension to widows and widowers as well as registered civil partners if they have not remarried. Children receive an orphan’s pension until they reach the age of 18. Under certain conditions, this pension can also be paid until the child reaches the age of 27. This is the case, for example, during vocational training. Former spouses, life partners and parents of the insured person who were maintained by the insured person in the year before his or her death may also be entitled to a survivor’s pension. They must submit an informal application to the BGHW.
Pensions for widows and widowers
The BGHW pays widows, widowers and registered civil partners a survivor’s pension for two years. The prerequisite is that they do not remarry during this period. The amount of the pension is 30 percent of the annual earnings of the person deceased due to the insured event. The BGHW pays an increased pension for the month of death (from the date of death) and the following three calendar months. This amounts to two thirds of the annual earnings from work and is intended to facilitate the changeover to the no longer required maintenance. Example: On 25.08.2011, Mr. Huber suffers a serious industrial accident, the consequences of which cause him to die. He was 31 years old at that time. In the twelve calendar months prior to the accident, he received gross pay of 36,000.00 euros. His wife is 35 years old. She has no income of her own. From 25.08.2011 until 30.11.2011 the BGHW pays Mrs. Huber a monthly pension of 2,000.00 Euro (36,000.00 Euro x 2/3 = 24,000.00 Euro, 24,000.00 Euro : 12 = 2,000.00 Euro) from 01.12.2011 until 31.08.In 2013 Ms Huber will receive a survivor’s pension of EUR 900.00 per month from the BGHW (EUR 36,000.00 x 30% = EUR 10,800.00, EUR 10,800.00 : EUR 12 = EUR 900.00).The “large widow’s or widower’s pension” The legislator assumes that there will be an increased need for maintenance if the surviving dependants have certain living conditions. In this case, widows, widowers, registered civil partners and civil partners can receive a permanent pension amounting to 40 per cent of the deceased’s annual earnings from employment. This is the case if
- the entitled person is at least 47 years old
- or raising a child.
- or disabled for work.
Example: On 25.08.2011, Mr. Huber suffers a serious accident at work, the consequences of which kill him. In the twelve calendar months prior to the accident, he received gross compensation of 36,000.00 euros. His wife is 35 years old and has no income of her own. The Huber couple has a two-year-old daughter who is raised by Mrs. Huber. From 25.08.2011 to 30.11.2011, the BGHW will pay Ms. Huber a pension of 2,000.00 euros per month (36,000.00 euros x 2/3 = 24,000.00 euros, 24,000.00 euros : 12 = 2).Starting on 01.12.2011, Ms. Huber will receive a survivor’s pension of 1,200.00 euros per month from the BGHW (36,000.00 euros x 40 percent = 14,400.00 euros, 14,400.00 euros : 12 = 1,200.00 euros). The pension is paid until the end of her life or until remarriage. The upbringing of the daughter ends when she reaches the age of majority. All survivor’s pensions paid by the BGHW due to the death of the same insured person may together amount to a maximum of 80 percent of the annual earnings from employment. The income of the beneficiaries exceeding a certain exemption amount is partially offset against survivor’s pensions.
In principle, the BGHW pays an orphan’s pension to the entitled person up to the age of 18, but an orphan’s pension can also be paid up to the age of 27 under certain conditions. This is the case if the orphan
- is undergoing school or vocational training, or
- performs a voluntary social/ecological year within the meaning of the Youth Voluntary Service Act (Jugendfreiwilligendienstegesetz) or a service within the meaning of the Federal Voluntary Service Act (Bundesfreiwilligendienstgesetz) or
- is not in a position to provide for themselves due to physical, mental or psychological disability.
- The pension amounts to
- for a half-orphan, 20 per cent of the deceased person’s annual earnings from work
- for an orphan 30 per cent of the deceased’s annual earnings.
Maximum amount of survivor’s pensions
All survivors’ pensions paid by the BGHW on the death of the same person may not exceed 80 per cent of the annual earnings from work, e.g. Ms Huber dies as a result of a serious accident at work. She leaves behind Mr. Huber (widower) and 3 minor orphans. Her annual earnings (gross earnings in the year before the accident) amounted to 30,000.00 euros. After the death quarter, the widower’s pension amounts to 40 percent of the annual earnings. This is 12,000.00 euros annually or 1,000.00 euros monthly. The three orphan’s pensions each amount to 20 percent of the annual earnings. If all pensions are added together, they amount to 100 percent of the annual earnings (12,000.00 euros + 18,000.00 euros = 30,000.00 euros). The maximum amount of 80 percent is thus exceeded. The pensions must therefore be reduced as follows: widower: 1,000.00 euros (single pension) x 2,000.00 euros (maximum amount): 2,500.00 euros (sum of all pensions per month) = 800.00 euros.
Survivors are not entitled to a pension if an insured person who has been the victim of an accident at work or an occupational disease dies without the death being the result of that accident at work or the occupational disease, or if the insured person who died was entitled to an insured person’s pension at the time of death after a reduction in earning capacity of 50 per cent or more. In these cases, the BGHW pays widows or widowers or registered civil partners a one-off allowance amounting to 40 per cent of their annual earnings.Orphans who would have been entitled to an orphan’s pension if the insured person had died as a result of an insured event are also entitled to a one-off allowance amounting to 40 per cent of their annual earnings if they died independently of the insured event. The prerequisite is that they lived in domestic community with the deceased person at the time of death and that they were mainly supported by him or her. If there are several orphans, the orphan’s allowance is distributed evenly. If the deceased insured have received a pension after a reduction in earning capacity of 80 per cent or more for longer than 10 years, the BGHW can, under certain further conditions, pay a current allowance instead of the one-off allowance.