In order to be financially secure in old age, old age pensions are available to all insured persons who fulfil the conditions.
In order to be financially secure in old age, old age pensions are available to all those who have reached statutory retirement age and have acquired the minimum insurance record (waiting period). Those who have fulfilled both conditions, but do not take their pensions and carry on working, receive a bonus when they do retire.
Before an old age pension can be paid, an application must be made – as is the case with all benefits from the pension insurance system – to the pension insurance institution with which one has been insured for the majority of the past 15 years.
Statutory Retirement Age
According to a person’s year of birth, different conditions apply for entitlement to an old-age pension.
As of 1 January 2024, the current retirement age for women (60) will be raised by six months per year until 2033, when it will then be 65. Those first affected are women born on or after 2 December 1963, who will then retire at the age of 60.5 years. For women who were born on or after 2 June 1968, their 65th birthday is their normal retirement age.
For men, their 65th birthday is the normal retirement age.
Minimum Insurance Record – Fulfilment of the Waiting Period
In order to claim an old-age pension, it is necessary to have a minimum insurance record. The following possibilities exist:
- 180 insurance months (15 insurance years) within the last 360 calendar months (30 years), or
- 180 contributory months (15 contributory years) of compulsory insurance or voluntary insurance, irrespective of when those periods took place, or
- 300 insurance months (25 insurance years) until the reference date.
Alternatively, the following qualifying period is also valid:
- 180 insurance months (15 insurance years). Of these, at least 84 insurance months (seven years) must have been obtained from employment. Periods during which a person has cared for a disabled child or a close family member (whereby the person requiring care has to be entitled to long-term care benefit at least at Stage 3) are also considered to be periods of employment, as are periods on family hospice leave (caring for a seriously ill or dying family member).
Since January 2017, periods acquired before 2005 which were spent bringing up children are also taken into account as qualifying periods.
Bonus for Later Retirement
If a person does not (yet) take their old age pension in spite of having accumulated the necessary qualifying years and having reached retirement age (currently 60 for women and 65 for men), the time during which they delay taking their pension leads to an increase of 4.2 percent per year in the amount they eventually receive as a pension. The bonus period can be used for a maximum of three years.
As additional encouragement for people to remain in employment for longer, the employee’s and the employer’s share of pension insurance contributions are reduced by half, thus increasing the monthly income from employment. The amount credited to the person’s pension account is, however, the full contribution base.
If you apply for your pension two to three months before you plan to retire, unresolved questions can be clarified and a delay in the payment of your pension can be avoided.