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.
You can ask the German Pension Insurance (Deutsche Rentenversicherung) for advice at any time, but the service is only available in german language: e-service - appointment.