Survivor's pension where survivor is non resident

murphaph1

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Hello all,
I have a query about the above. I will likely have a (close to full if not full) contributory pension when I hit retirement age. My German wife has never worked in Ireland. She is an employee here in Germany and will qualify for the German state pension. Should anything happen to me, would she be entitled to the survivor's pension and if so, when and for how long?

Thanks and all the best,
Phil
 

Shirazman

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murphaph1

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lol yeah I meant would she already be entitled to the survivor's pension before I start drawing my own contributory pension (and yes, I meant an Irish contributory pension, sorry that wasn't clear)

That's great then because I kind of assumed she would lose the Irish survivor's pension (or not be entitled to it) if she was drawing her own German state pension. It seems a bit of a loophole because my mother lost her widow's pension once she started receiving her own contributory pension but my wife will have the German equivalent of the Irish state pension (contributory) and yet will keep her Irish survivor's pension.
 

Jim2007

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2,297
lol yeah I meant would she already be entitled to the survivor's pension before I start drawing my own contributory pension (and yes, I meant an Irish contributory pension, sorry that wasn't clear)

That's great then because I kind of assumed she would lose the Irish survivor's pension (or not be entitled to it) if she was drawing her own German state pension. It seems a bit of a loophole because my mother lost her widow's pension once she started receiving her own contributory pension but my wife will have the German equivalent of the Irish state pension (contributory) and yet will keep her Irish survivor's pension.

Assuming you/she retires in Germany, it will not be up to the Irish authorities. In accordance with the EU rules you can have only one competent authority responsible for you in retirement and that is the one in the country where you enter retirement. It also has responsibility for your healthcare etc.

You apply in your country of residence at the time that you become eligible for your first pension in an EU state. If you qualify for a full pension it is only a rubber stamp job, of telling say the Irish authorities to pay 100%. In all other cases the authority is responsible for ensuring that your contributions in all states are maximised, there is copious documentation on how this is done.

In cases where your circumstance change - like the loss of a partner, they will reassess the situation and again ensure that you get the maximum possible income. So your wife, she would get her own pension, an Irish survivor pension plus anything else she would be entitled to as a German widow.
 

Shirazman

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476
lol yeah I meant would she already be entitled to the survivor's pension before I start drawing my own contributory pension (and yes, I meant an Irish contributory pension, sorry that wasn't clear)

That's great then because I kind of assumed she would lose the Irish survivor's pension (or not be entitled to it) if she was drawing her own German state pension. It seems a bit of a loophole because my mother lost her widow's pension once she started receiving her own contributory pension but my wife will have the German equivalent of the Irish state pension (contributory) and yet will keep her Irish survivor's pension.

You can only receive one Irish State pension, so presumably your mum's own contrib pension was worth more than her widow's pension.
 

Baby boomer

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739
lol yeah I meant would she already be entitled to the survivor's pension before I start drawing my own contributory pension (and yes, I meant an Irish contributory pension, sorry that wasn't clear)

That's great then because I kind of assumed she would lose the Irish survivor's pension (or not be entitled to it) if she was drawing her own German state pension. It seems a bit of a loophole because my mother lost her widow's pension once she started receiving her own contributory pension but my wife will have the German equivalent of the Irish state pension (contributory) and yet will keep her Irish survivor's pension.
It's not really a loophole. Your Irish contributions pay for your spouse's survivor's pension. Her German contributions pay for her German state pension. Seems fair enough, really.
 

murphaph1

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Thanks a lot folks. I guess it isn't a loophole per se but feels like one as she would also lose her German widow's pension once she started drawing her own pension here. I will add the steps to take to my morbidly titled "In the event of my death" Google doc (which I share with my wife and try to keep updated).
 

Dave Vanian

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I will add the steps to take to my morbidly titled "In the event of my death" Google doc (which I share with my wife and try to keep updated).

An excellent idea that could really be so helpful in the event of your untimely demise. My good lady simply doesn't like talking about plans for either death. I've worked in the life & pensions industry since the 1980s so I'm mad keen to "be prepared". My solution - heaps of clear instructions, account numbers, contact details saved onto a good old-fashioned USB memory stick. We at least compromised that she knows where that is if I should shuffle off unexpectedly. It's also backed up onto my cloud storage and two people know how to access it.
 

Jim2007

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I found out that the Deutsche Rentenversicherung (German pension insurance) has information in German specific to Ireland. I'll include a link to the pdf in my above Google doc.

Pretty much every EU/EEA/CH country has a section on Ireland as we have a tendency to get around a lot ;-)
 

murphaph1

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67
Although it feels more like this brochure was created for Germans who spent some time working in Ireland but I guess it doesn't matter. My wife doesn't like dealing with officials. I think the idea of having to deal with the DSP in English would possibly put her off claiming the pension altogether which would be a massive shame. Even though I knew my claim for my own pension in Ireland would go through the Germans, I just (incorrectly) assumed she would have to approach the DSP to claim a survivor's pension so that was really useful information about her claiming through the locals. I've updated my doc for her accordingly :)
 

ArthurMcB

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In accordance with the EU rules you can have only one competent authority responsible for you in retirement and that is the one in the country where you enter retirement
Is it not possible to receive the state pension from more than one country?
 

murphaph1

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Is it not possible to receive the state pension from more than one country?
It is but you apply only through the competent authority in the country you now live in or the country you last paid a contribution in. It's their job then to liaise with all the other competent authorities in the EU/EEA so you don't have to. The money is then paid through the local competent authority but on behalf of the others. These are EU regulations to make life easier for citizens that moved around the EU during their working lives. They have to do all the heavy lifting in calculating the best pension entitlement(s).
 

ArthurMcB

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It is but you apply only through the competent authority in the country you now live in or the country you last paid a contribution in. It's their job then to liaise with all the other competent authorities in the EU/EEA so you don't have to. The money is then paid through the local competent authority but on behalf of the others. These are EU regulations to make life easier for citizens that moved around the EU during their working lives. They have to do all the heavy lifting in calculating the best pension entitlement(s).
Hi @murphaph1 and @Jim2007 . I think the information you have provided may not be correct. @Paul O Mahoney perhaps you might clarify?

My understanding is that

1. You can receive state pension from more than 1 country.
2. If for example you retire in ireland but have enough UK vontributions you apply to HMRC to receive uk pension.
 

jpd

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I worked in Ireland, UK and France

I applied for my pension through the Irish Social WElfare as I was living in Ireland when I became eligible. The Irish then passed on the pension requests to UK and France social welfare departments

I receive payments from the three countries - not one payment from Ireland
 

murphaph1

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67
Hi @murphaph1 and @Jim2007 . I think the information you have provided may not be correct. @Paul O Mahoney perhaps you might clarify?

My understanding is that

1. You can receive state pension from more than 1 country.
2. If for example you retire in ireland but have enough UK vontributions you apply to HMRC to receive uk pension.
So I can quote from the German document linked above and give a rough (but accurate) translation:
Wollen Sie aus Deutschland und Irland eine Rente
beziehen, müssen Sie Ihren Antrag immer nur bei
einem Träger stellen – am besten dort, wo Sie wohnen.
Wenn Sie in Deutschland wohnen, wenden Sie sich bitte
vorrangig an Ihren zuständigen deutschen Träger. Der
Antrag gilt dann automatisch auch für den irischen
Träger.
Translation:
If you want to draw a pension from Germany and Ireland, you only need to make your application to one competent authority, preferably the one where you live. If you live in Germany, please contact your German pensions authority (these are regional in Germany, it's not a single agency) in the first instance. The application is then automatically valid for the Irish competent authority.
 

murphaph1

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I receive payments from the three countries - not one payment from Ireland
Did you qualify for all three pensions in their own right perhaps? (so not needing any contributions made in another EU member state to hit minimum amounts)
 

Shirazman

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476
My understanding is that

1. You can receive state pension from more than 1 country.
2. If for example you retire in ireland but have enough UK vontributions you apply to HMRC to receive uk pension.

1. Is correct
2. Isn't quite correct. You should apply through through the Irish Social Welfare system for your UK State pension, but many people don't bother!
 

jpd

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Did you qualify for all three pensions in their own right perhaps? (so not needing any contributions made in another EU member state to hit minimum amounts)
Not sure what you mean - I paid social security in all three countries when I was working so qualified for a pension under each countries rules - not a full pension from each
 
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