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Social Association VdK Germany e.V.

From application to approval: your path to retirement

Where do you apply for your pension? How long does it take to receive the decision? When do you risk discounts on your pension?

  • Old-age pension: what are the requirements?

As a legally insured person, you can claim the regular old-age pension if you meet certain requirements. Depending on the old-age pension, for example, the statutory retirement age differs or a certain number of contributions must be paid into the statutory pension fund. Five years of pension contributions are the minimum to earn a pension entitlement.

You can of course also retire before the statutory retirement age - some insured persons even have to do so - and apply for a disability pension because they are physically or mentally ill and can no longer work. But if you leave working life early and claim your pension ahead of time, you have to reckon with discounts on your old-age provision.

This means that in this case you will only receive a reduced monthly transfer for life and not the amount that you would normally have received. The discounts are 0.3 percent to 14.4 percent per month in total.

  • Statutory retirement age: when can you retire?

The age required for drawing a pension is also called the age limit or retirement age.

The legislature has raised the age limit from 65 to 67, with the result that employees born in 1964 and later have to work until their 67th birthday. Those who were born earlier can retire between the ages of 65 and 66. This point in time is approximately 65 years and nine months for those who were born in 1955.

Take a look at this list of birth cohorts and the associated legal age limits.

  • Pension for particularly long-term insured persons: When can I retire after 45 years of contributions?

Your retirement age also depends on how many years you have paid contributions to the statutory pension insurance. Those who have 45 years of contributions can retire after the old-age pension for those with long-term insurance.

Contrary to what the name “pension from 63” suggests, the retirement age also changes here depending on the year of birth. Only those born before 1952 are allowed to retire at 63 after 45 years of contributions. For everyone else, the age limits are gradually increasing. In this overview, we have compiled the years of retirement for those with long-term insurance.

  • Do I have to apply for the pension myself?

Yes. You must apply for your old-age pension yourself. For those with statutory pension insurance, the Deutsche Rentenversicherung is the point of contact.

  • How do I apply for a retirement pension?

Before you submit your pension application, it is advisable to obtain information from a pension counseling service. In some cases, you can fill out your application together with your advisor on the pension insurance forms. By the way: You can also fill out your pension application online.

If you would like to fill out the application for your pension yourself - this goes to the form center of the German pension insurance.

  • Apply for a pension: are there deadlines?

If you only want to submit your pension application after you have reached your retirement age, the pension insurance will still pay your pension retrospectively up to this point in time. However, you should not submit your application later than three months after reaching your age limit. Because then your pension does not actually begin until the month of application; there are no retroactive payments.

A tip: submit your pension application around three months before you reach the regular retirement age. This gives the pension insurance enough time to review your application and, for example, to ask you for missing documents.

  • What documents do you need for your pension application?

You need a clear insurance history for your pension application. Most of the time, the pension insurance has clarified this before you apply for your pension. If not, you must present the last insurance history that the insurance company sent you to the pension insurance company. In addition, for your pension application you need your identity card (alternatively your passport or your birth certificate), proof of your health insurance membership, information about other types of pension in old age such as company pensions and your bank details.

  • Retirement account: what's what?

In addition to your personal data, your retirement account contains all the times that are important for your retirement and its amount. This means that the pension account is the basis on which the pension insurance calculates your pension. Periods that are important for retirement are those in which, for example, you worked subject to social security contributions, completed an apprenticeship, raised children or looked after relatives.

A tip: contributions that employers pay in for employees are automatically documented in the pension account. You don't need to worry about that any further. It is different, for example, when it comes to bringing up children or caring for relatives. You must inform the pension insurance of these times yourself so that they can record the times in the pension account.

  • What is the insurance history and why is it important?

In your pension report, all times that are important for your pension amount are listed in chronological order.

Insured persons receive the first insurance history if they are at least 27 years old and have paid pension insurance contributions for five years.

At the age of 43, you will receive a current insurance history and a questionnaire for account clarification from the pension insurance in the so-called account clarification procedure.

From 55 you receive an insurance history every three years with the pension information.

You can also have the current insurance history sent to you by the pension insurance company at any time.

  • Which times does the pension insurance recognize for the pension?

The pension insurance recognizes any work that is subject to social insurance contributions for your pension. The same applies to school hours, vocational school hours and training, although it makes no difference whether you trained in a company or at a technical college. The pension insurance also recognizes your studies for your pension, periods of unemployment or longer illnesses in which you received sick pay. Voluntary years, child-rearing periods and periods in which you were looking for an apprenticeship or caring for relatives are also important for your pension and its amount.

Unlike in the past, school or university studies no longer have a pension-increasing effect, but they are counted towards the minimum insurance period of five years (see above).

By the way: It usually takes three months for the pension insurance to review and process your pension application.

Read and see more:


VdK-TV: Pension insurance: Pension information and pension information (UT)

Once a year there is post from the pension insurance for those with pension insurance: The pension information. In addition, there is a pension information for pensioners aged 55 and over. Our video explains the terms.

Tags old-age pension | German pension insurance | Pension application | Permit | statutory pension | Retirement age