Office for the Equal Treatment of EU Workers

Pension

The statutory pension insurance is part of the German social security system and is intended to secure financially employed persons after their employment. Insurance periods acquired in other countries are taken into account for pension entitlement.

1. Statutory pension insurance

As an employee you are in principle compulsorily insured in the statutory pension insurance. Pension insurance includes various benefits:

  • The pension provides financial security in old age if you no longer receive income from work. To receive an old-age pension, a certain age must be reached and a certain number of legal pension periods must have been completed.
  • Pension insurance also supports you if you become incapacitated in the course of your working life, that is, if you can no longer or only partially work due to illness or a disability. You will then receive rehabilitation benefits to restore your ability to work or a pension for reduced ability to work if your state of health means that you will no longer be able to work or will only be able to work to a limited extent for the foreseeable future.
  • In addition, the pension insurance offers comprehensive survivor protection. It pays pensions to widows, widowers and orphans of the deceased insured persons.

The decisive age for drawing the regular old-age pension is 65 up to the year of birth 1946. For the following years of birth, the standard age limit is gradually increased up to 67 years old. From 2029, this age limit will apply to everyone born in 1964 or later. However, the statutory pension insurance includes other old-age pensions, which allow earlier retirement under special personal conditions, for example if there is a severe disability and/or long-term contributions to the statutory pension insurance.

A principle in pension insurance is: The more and the longer you pay in contributions and the higher these are, the higher your future pension will be. In addition to the contribution periods from earned income, periods in which children were raised or relatives were cared for can also be taken into account. In addition, “non-contributory periods” are taken into account for various issues (e.g. school attendance).

2. Insurance periods in other countries

If you were employed in other EU countries, in Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland, the insurance periods that you have completed in these Member States are taken into account to meet waiting periods. However, each of these States pays a separate pension once you reach retirement age.

Please note: Note that the statutory pension is less than your income while working. In order to maintain your standard of living in old age, you should supplement the statutory pension insurance with a company and/or private pension.

If you have worked in one or more EU countries, Iceland, Lichtenstein, Norway or Switzerland, the following applies: Each country in which you have an insurance period of more than a year pays a separate pension as soon as you have reached the relevant retirement age in that country. The amount of the pension depends on the insurance periods completed there. To meet the requirements for a pension entitlement, all insurance periods completed in the respective countries are taken into account. You will receive a summary of the decision made by the individual countries (Document P1). This notification is created by the pension provider with whom you submitted your pension application.

3. Pension application

You submit the pension application in the country in which you live, unless you have never worked there. In that case, make the application in the country in which you were last insured. If you submit a pension application in one country, it applies to all countries in which you have completed insurance periods.

You will receive your pension regardless of where you are in the countries mentioned.

Tip: You can find out what needs to be considered when applying for a pension here.

4. Medical treatment

You are also entitled to treatment in case of illness in the country where you live.

Example: You receive a pension from Portugal and are insured there, but you live in Germany. Then you can also get medical treatment in Germany. However, you should register with the German health insurance company. To register, you need a form (document S1) from your health insurance company in Portugal. Further information on health insurance and medical treatment can be found here.

5. Additional information

The German pension insurance provides information under the heading Pension & abroad. There you can also access the brochure “Living and working in Europe”.