Fewer and fewer survivor benefits

18/05/2010 15:00

Under the National Survivor Benefits Act (Anw), 105 thousand benefits were paid to claimants in March 2010. This is 9 thousand fewer than twelve months previously. Claimants may receive one of three benefits under the Anw: the survivor benefit, the dependent child allowance, and the orphan’s benefit. The majority of benefits are surviving partner’s benefits.

Decrease since the introduction of the Anw

Since its introduction on 1 July 1996, the number of benefits paid under the Anw has fallen by 46 percent. The Anw replaced the general Widows and Orphans Act (AWW). Because of the stricter conditions of the Anw, fewer people are eligible for the benefits. Unlike its predecessor, for example, the benefits are related to age and income. The number of benefits that were already being paid on 1 July 1996 are also decreasing, as claimants are reaching the official pension age.

Anw benefits

Anw benefits

Anw survivor benefits down from 2008

The number of Anw benefits paid to surviving partners after 1 July 1996 was fairly stable in the period 2005 to 2007: around 66 thousand benefits on average. From 2008 the number of benefits paid fell by an average 250 per month to 57 thousand in March 2010.

Anw benefits (eligibility from 1-7-1996) by type, yearly average

Anw benefits (eligibility from 1-7-1996) by type, yearly average

More dependent child benefits

Most Anw benefits (105 thousand in March 2010) are paid to people who have lost their partner. Only a small percentage is paid to children who have lost one or both parents. In March 2010, 14 percent of the benefits were allowances exclusively for the dependent child, and 1 percent orphan’s benefits. 

The number of orphan’s benefits fell slightly after 2005, to 1,400 in March 2010. The dependent child allowance was the only benefit under the Anw to rise in terms of numbers, on the other hand. In March 2010, 14 thousand dependent child allowances were paid, 3 thousand more than five years ago.

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