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: German widow's and widower's pensions are often criticized as an outmoded form of social security derived from marriage. But this institution is still in place despite all reform debates about individualized forms of old age security for women and the recognition of care periods under pension law. This volume presents a thorough analysis of legal and socio-political aspects of widow's and widower's pension regulation under German law. There is a strong focus on the constitutional principles of equality and non-discrimination (art. 3 German Basic Law) in connection with the state obligation to support the family (art. 6 sec.1 German Basic Law). It is seen as highly problematic that widow's and widower's pensions are linked to marriage or civil partnership, while other forms of cohabitation and family life are excluded from this social security benefit.