Survivor’s and orphan’s pensions

A non-retired member’s death can entitle their beneficiaries to a pension.

Survivor’s and children’s benefits

Claims for a survivor’s or child’s pension are processed in accordance with the rules which are applicable on the date of death. The information below reflects the rules applicable to deaths occurring on or after January 1, 2012.
Please refer to the fact sheet entitled Survivor’s and orphan’s pension (deaths occurring on or after 01/01/2012).


Beneficiaries’ eligibility for a pension is assessed as of the member’s date of death. The beneficiaries of a deceased working or retired member are:

  • The member’s widowed spouse along with ex-spouses who are neither deceased nor remarried. Common-law partnerships (“concubinage”) and French civil unions (“PACS”) are not recognized for survivor’s pension rights.
  • The member’s children (with certain requirements: children under age 21 who are enrolled in school, or children with disabilities regardless of age).

The beneficiary’s income is not taken into account when assessing their entitlement to a CRPN survivor’s pension.

Survivor’s benefits

The survivor’s pension is awarded at a rate of 60% of the member’s pension, plus any top-up or supplement.

How the survivor’s pension is divided

The survivor’s pension is divided among the member’s eligible spouses under the French transport code in strict proportion to their years of marriage.

Orphan’s benefits

The child’s pension is awarded at a rate of:

  • 12% of the member’s pension,
  • 50% if the child has lost both parents,
  • 72% if the child has lost both parents and suffers from a permanent disability as defined under article R6527-64 of the French transport code (for members deaths occurring on or after January 1st, 2013).

However, survivor’s and orphan’s pensions cannot add up to more than 100% of the member’s pension. If this occurs, the pension awarded to each of the member’s beneficiaries is proportionally reduced.

The disabled child’s pension

If certain requirements are met, children of any age with a disability that prevents them from earning a living can qualify for a pension after the member’s death.

To qualify, the child or their guardian will need to submit with the pension application:

  • Either a disability card (“carte d’invalidité”) or mobility inclusion card (“carte mobilité inclusion”/ CMI) or a notification from the Committee for the Rights and Self-dependency of Disabled Persons (CDAPH, formerly known as COTOREP) (or any document used by the French Social Security system to recognize disability or incapacity for work),
  • Either a certificate of entitlement to or award of a disability-, industrial accident-, or occupational illness pension issued by the French social security system,

the document certifying the date of onset of the disability. Otherwise, an additional document showing that date will need to be sent to CRPN.

  • And a medical certificate which states that the child has a permanent disability that prevents them from earning a living.

Yearly requirements in order to continue pension payments:

  • For the first 5 years after the entitlement was made payable: a medical certificate(1) stating that the child has a permanent disability that prevents them from earning a living.
  • Beyond this 5-year period, a signed statement from the awardee or their guardian or legal representative certifying the awardee’s inability to earn a living.

(1) The medical certificate required in the cases listed above is not necessary for children who have a documented permanent entitlement and have a disability severity rating of at least 80% (disabled adult’s allowance (“allocation adulte handicapé”/ AAH), caregiver’s allowance (“allocation compensatrice pour tierce personne”/ ACTP), Mobility Inclusion Card marked “invalidité” (disability).


Required paperwork

When a member dies, the applicant must submit the following documents to CRPN as soon as possible:

  • A notice or certificate of death,
  • An application for a survivor’s pension, on a separate sheet of paper, within six months of the member’s death.

This will allow us to promptly set up any survivor’s and children’s benefits. If the six-month deadline has passed, the survivor’s and/or children’s pensions will become payable on the first day of the month following receipt of the application.

Download our Survivor’s pension application form.

To avoid delays in processing your claim, you will need to get the following documents from the local authorities where the applicant and the deceased member were born:

  • A birth certificate, with all annotations, for the deceased member,
  • A birth certificate, with all annotations, for the applicant.

These original documents must be submitted to CRPN along with your completed pension application.