A 73-year-old woman from Bavaria wanted to remained by the employer of her 15 years older husband, an occupational survivor’s pension. Her husband died in August 2014, and the wife got the full survivor’s pension from the company.

But four months later she wrote a company you that you will receive in the future, only a reduced pension. The company related to the pension scheme, which States: the wife Is more than ten years younger than the deceased husband, shall be reduced to the widow’s pension – for each year age-gap more – by five percent.

The woman from Bayern wouldn’t accept that and went to court. She felt the so-called age-gap clause as impermissible discrimination.

Since then, the parties disagree as to the amount of the pension. The regional labour court of Munich had given the widow’s first law.

The company has not accepted this and moved ahead of the Federal labour court. This ruled: The wife gets only the reduced occupational pension. (reference: 3 AZR 400/17)

discrimination on the grounds of age was justified in this case: The employer of the said survivor’s pension, have a legitimate interest in limiting the associated financial risk.

The court held: In the case of an age-gap of eleven years, from the clause attack is applied to the common life of the cutting of the spouse, the widow or widower of a part of her or his life without the supply of eligible spend.

In February, the Federal labour court had ruled in another case, in a similar way: A woman from North Rhine-Westphalia, had obtained from the employer of her deceased husband, a widow’s pension. The difference in age was 18 years, therefore, the employer refused to pay. In contrast, the woman had complained. This gave the employers the right. He didn’t have to pay. (3 AZR 43/17)


Sam Yoon has many years of experiences in journalism. He has covered such areas as information technology, science, sports and politics. Yoon can be reached at 82-2-6956-6698.