Health and insurance

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Pension insurance in Germany

If you have paid at least five years into the pension insurance, you can acquire rights to monthly pension payments.

General information

As an important part of the social security system, German pension insurance is represented throughout Germany. The pension insurance office advises on pension and retirement provision issues, pays a pension in the event of reduced earning capacity or in old age and also offers various benefits during working life.

If you work in Germany as an employee, you automatically become a member of the pension insurance and are protected from day one. The pension insurance number is identical to the social security number.

To finance this part of social security, you and your employer must pay a contribution. Currently, you and your employer pay 18.6% of your gross salary. Each one pays a half and your share is automatically deducted from your salary.

Usually, you must have paid contributions for 5 years before pension benefits are paid. In the case of accidents at work, you are protected from day one. You must also have reached a certain age in order to receive retirement benefits.  European law stipulates that you can add up pension periods from all European countries. Further information can be found here: Deutsche Rentenversicherung - Europaen law.

Reimbursement of pension insurance contributions

A refund of the contributions in the amount of the employee's share is possible on application if:

  • you have not been subject to compulsory insurance in Germany for at least 24 months and

  • you are not allowed to voluntarily insure yourself 

The possibility of a refund also depends on the country you come from and the country you move to.

Pension insurance for self-employed people

Many self-employed people are automatically covered by pension insurance.

The following occupational groups may be subject to statutory pension insurance under certain conditions:

  • Teacher and educators
  • Nursing, weekly care, suckling care, infant care
  • Geriatric nursing
  • Midwife, Childbirth nursing
  • Pilot
  • Coast skipper and –fisher
  • Artist and publicists
  • Housetraders
  • Selfemployed people with only one principal
  • Crafts men, as far as thy are entered in the handcrafts register, working  actually selfemployed and the trade is subject to registration

If you do not belong to one of these occupational groups or if you are only marginally employed (earned income below 450 euros per month), you are not subject to pension insurance compulsary and can apply for compulsory insurance or take out voluntary insurance.

You must submit an application for compulsory insurance within 5 years of starting work. If you do not want to apply for compulsory insurance, you can consider whether voluntary insurance is an option for you. You are free to choose the amount of your contribution (minimum fee 83,70 € monthly and maximum fee 1,246,20 € monthly).

In any case a consultation is recommended.

Contact Deutsche Rentenversicherung

Deutsche Rentenversicherung Nord
Friedrich-Ebert-Damm 245
22159 Hamburg
Freie und Hansestadt Hamburg

Phone: 0800 1000 48022
Website: Deutsche Renten­versicherung Nord in Hamburg