Pension insurance; information and advice

Statutory pension insurance provides protection against the risks of old age, disability and death, particularly for employees, but also for certain self-employed persons and other groups of persons.


Statutory pension insurance is a branch of social insurance. It covers almost all gainfully employed persons as compulsory insurance (for self-employed persons partly on application) or as voluntary insurance.

The pension insurance is financed by contributions of the insured and the employers as well as by federal subsidies.

Essentially, the following are insured:

  • Employees working for pay as well as apprentices or those otherwise employed for their vocational training;
  • Home-based workers, development workers, and persons doing military service or a voluntary social year or a voluntary ecological year or the Federal Volunteer Service;
  • certain self-employed persons, e.g., teachers, educators, and persons engaged in nursing, maternity, infant, or child care who do not employ an insurable employee in connection with their self-employment, midwives and delivery nurses, and persons who do not regularly employ an insurable employee in connection with their self-employment and who work permanently and essentially for only one client;
  • Persons who are to be qualified for gainful employment in youth welfare institutions or in vocational training centers or similar institutions for disabled persons;
  • Persons during the period for which they are receiving sickness benefit, injury benefit, care sickness benefit, transitional benefit, unemployment benefit or unemployment benefit II;
  • Persons for whom child-raising periods are to be credited;
  • Persons who do not professionally care for a person in need of care with at least care level 2, who is entitled to benefits from social or private care insurance, for at least 10 hours a week in his or her home environment;
  • self-employed artists and publicists.

In the case of marginal employment, exemption from compulsory insurance is possible. Certain groups of persons may be exempt from compulsory insurance. Those who are not compulsorily insured may take out voluntary insurance for periods after reaching the age of 16 Voluntary insurance.

Essentially, the following benefits are granted: Medical rehabilitation measures and benefits for participation in working life to maintain, improve and restore earning capacity, including economic assistance (e.g. transitional allowance, travel and transport costs, household assistance), pensions to insured persons and to surviving dependents, pension compensation and reimbursement of contributions, contributions for pensioners' health insurance.

The statutory pension insurance institutions provide information, advise, accept applications and grant the benefits provided for by law.
The insurance offices at the district offices and independent cities, the municipal administrations and the insurance advisors provide information, advise and accept applications.

You can obtain information by telephone on our free service number 0800 1000 4800.

Online procedures

  • Deutsche Rentenversicherung - Beratungstermin vereinbaren

    You can find out about many topics online on the Deutsche Rentenversicherung website. You can make an appointment for a consultation online and take care of many of the services provided by Deutsche Rentenversicherung from the comfort of your own home.

  • Deutsche Rentenversicherung - Online-Rechner

    The German pension insurance offers you some calculation programs. For example, you can use your last pension information to determine the earliest possible, the regular start and the amount of your retirement pension.

Links to more information


Responsible for editing:Bayerisches Staatsministerium für Familie, Arbeit und Soziales

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