• In the video above you can see: There is so little pension despite having a full-time job

The statutory pension in Germany is intended to support retirement. The criteria for normal employees should be clear: at least 35 years of insurance and a minimum age for the old-age pension or a serious illness or disability for the unemployment pension. In addition, there is a requirement that is often ignored: only those who have contributed for at least five years will receive a pension. So what about someone who has never worked?

Anyone who works and is registered with social security by their employer also contributes to pension insurance. However, self-employed workers, freelancers and civil servants are not required to contribute. The latter receive their pension, paid with tax money. The former do not have to make contributions, but they also do not have the right to receive money from the pension fund. You should take complete charge of your retirement planning yourself. Although they can voluntarily contribute to the pension fund, because they do not share the burden of contributions with any employer, in most cases it is not worth it.

If you never pay your pension, you receive nothing

Only those who have contributed to the pension insurance for at least five years will receive a pension, either a standard old-age pension or a disability pension. The widow's or orphan's pension is only paid if the deceased has contributed to the pension system for at least five years. Anyone who cannot complete the five years can make voluntary pension contributions. You can find out the amount by checking with the statutory pension insurance or the VDK. You can also find more information in this video:

When it is worth paying additional pension contributions and when it is not

Achieve a five-year wait

Not everyone can afford to pay additional pension contributions for five years. The sum can quickly reach tens of thousands of euros and the amount paid in old age is small. However, it is different if you can credit your time without paying contributions. That works. For example, to raise children, to train or study. This means that you can end an insurance period of five years and then be entitled to a pension without having paid any contributions.

Study and school: Anyone who went to school or studied after the age of 17 can have up to eight years counted towards their pension.

Raising children: Anyone who raises or has raised children will be even better off. You will receive as many pension points as if you had earned the average salary of all insured people. Currently, this is equivalent to about 34 euros of pension per month for a year of raising children. For children born before 1992, up to two and a half years can be credited; for the youngest children, three years. Important: Only one parent can receive the credit for each month; This will be automatically credited to the mother. But parents, adoptive parents, stepparents or adoptive parents and even grandparents can also apply for the credit if the child lives with them to care for her.

At least a few years of mini-jobs?

Even a mini-job for 520 euros contributes pension points, because mini-jobs have been subject to compulsory insurance since 2023. This means that even if you only do a mini-job, you will receive full periods of pension insurance contributions. Very important: of course, moonlighting does not count.

These times apply to old-age pensions as well as to all other types of pensions and even to pension insurance rehabilitation measures. The advantage: mini-workers only pay a small part of the pension insurance contributions. The employer must pay 15 percent of gross income as a contribution. The employee only pays the difference compared to the normal contribution rate, which is currently 18.6 percent. This means that for 3.6 percent of your mini-job salary you will receive pension points and subsequently a pension.

The unemployed do not receive a pension, but what then?

But the fact is that if you have never worked, you do not receive a pension. Even those who have received social assistance cannot count on a pension. In case of unemployment, the State covers health insurance, but not pension insurance. That is why in old age only basic security remains.

Basic security in old age

According to the German Pension Insurance, older people living in Germany who have reached the normal retirement age, do not receive an old-age pension and cannot cover their living expenses from their income, receive basic security in old age. Basic security covers accommodation and heating, sickness and healthcare insurance contributions and pension contributions. There are additional benefits too. Therefore, it is not necessary to receive the full game to receive basic security. The German pension insurance recommends that if your income is less than 924 euros per month, you at least have an application verified.

How high is basic security?

If the application is approved, the amount of basic security depends on income and assets. The assets of the spouse are also taken into account. Since January 1, single adults receive 563 euros per month if they run their own household. Couples are entitled to 506 euros per couple.

By the way: if you only receive a small pension but do not want to apply for basic security, you can earn as much extra as you want from last year. You can see what requirements apply here:

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