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The scheme membership and the monthly contribution of 11% of the pensionable remuneration entitle not only the scheme member to a retirement pension, but also his lawful heirs (or survivors) to a survivor pension.
Nowadays, the time of service counting for retirement implies necessarily the counting of that period for survivor pension purposes.
However, in the past, the contribution system for retirement and survivor pension schemes was not unified, so it could happen that a scheme member contributed to the retirement scheme only.
Therefore, scheme regulations continue to mention separate time of service counting procedures according to its purposes, retirement or survivor pensions, with also separate contributions debts calculated.
The time of service counting for survivor pension scheme depends on the corresponding contributions payment.
The calculation of extra service contributions for survivor pension scheme is similar to the retirement pensions one, but the contribution rate amounts to 3% (instead of 8%) of the pensionable remuneration or the retirement pension, for each month taken into account.
The survivor pension scheme member chooses one of the following two methods to pay the contributions in debt:
If the scheme member dies before the total amount is paid, the debt will be transferred to his lawful heirs through the survivor pension, in which that amount will be automatically deducted by CGA (withholding).
Survivor pension is a lifetime monthly benefit that corresponds to a certain percentage of the deceased accrued rights (of the retirement pension the scheme member was receiving at the moment of his death or would
receive if at that time he met the qualifying conditions).
Those considered lawful heirs can apply for a survivor pension.
Concerning the scheme members retired according to the rules in force till 2005-12-31 and the deceased active members that would also retire according to those rules, the scheme considers lawful heirs (survivors) the following:
(Grandchildren can only apply for the survivor pension if their parents can't)
(Parents and grandparents can only apply to the survivor pension if there aren't any of the beneficiaries prior mentioned)
Concerning the scheme members that will retire (or would, if they didn't die before) according to the rules in force from 2006-01-01 onwards (the scheme members that didn't have 36 years of service in 2005-12-31 and all civil servants appointed after 1993-08-31), the scheme considers lawful heirs (survivors) the following:
(Parents and grandparents can only apply to the survivor pension if there aren't any of the beneficiaries prior mentioned).
If the deceased pensioner or active member retired - or could retire - according to the rules in force until 2005-12-31, the survivor pension corresponds to 50% of the retirement pension the deceased was receiving at the moment of his death or the pension he would receive if at that time he met all the retirement qualifying conditions.
If the deceased retired or would retire according to the rules in force from 2006-01-01 onwards, the survivor pension corresponds to the sum of 50% of the retirement pension named P1 with the percentage of P2 according to the following rules:
* In case no surviving spouse, adult partner or divorced exist.
The survivor pension scheme of private workers (Social Security) fully applies to civil servants appointed after 1993-08-31.
Competition rules between survivors
If the deceased pensioner or active member retired - or could retire - according to the rules in force until 2005-12-31, the competition rules between his survivors are as follows:
The survivor pensions granted to the legal heirs of those that could not retire according to the rules in force until 2005-12-31 is distributed among them as described in Table III (pension equally shared within the same class).
The survivor pension payment is due from the:
The pension payment and prescription rules are the same that apply to the retirement pension.
Pension rights loss
The survivor pension is paid until one of the following events occurs:
If the survivor pension is being paid to more than one beneficiary and one of them loses his pension rights, the global value of the pension is redistributed by the others, according to the rules prior mentioned.
Until August 1991, the new survivor pension scheme (approved by Decree-Law 142/73, 31st March) was not mandatory, so many civil servants opted for being affiliated at CGA for retirement pension purposes only, while maintaining their membership of the old survivor pension scheme (under the Decree-Law 24046/1934, 21st June), which had much lower contributions, but offered also considerable lower benefits.
Nevertheless, those civil servants were given the possibility to join - with retroactive effects from the moment they were affiliated at the old survivor pension scheme (called retroaction) - the new survivor pension scheme at any time (still during their career or even after, during retirement), as long as they paid the contribution gap between the old and the new schemes.
For those civil servants that never joined the new survivor pension scheme (regarding the time they served until 1991 August), CGA - under articles 8 and 24 of Decree-Law 142/73, 31st March –, whenever a survivor pension claim is submitted, performs the retroaction operation, in order to ensure that the contribution career for both survivor and retirement pensions are equal and that, therefore, the survivor pension is half of the retirement pension value.
The contribution gap between the old and the new survivor pension schemes is calculated using the following formula and that amount might be paid for those heirs immediately of on 60 monthly installments, withheld by CGA from the survivor pension:
(Time of service until August 1991 X Contribution rate in force at the time of grating the survivor pension (3%) X Gross monthly amount of the retirement pension of the deceased at the time of death) - Contributions delivered to the old survivor pension scheme
Note: Legislation and most documents are in Portuguese language only