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Old-age pensions

July 20, 2011

The minimum age for a standard pension in Germany is to be gradually increased

Elderly couple smiling

Under a law aiming to adjust the minimum pensionable age in line with demographic change and to place the statutory pension insurance systems on a sounder financial footing (the Rentenversicherungs-Altersgrenzenanpassungsgesetz), the minimum age for a standard pension in Germany is to be gradually increased from 65 to 67 between 2012 and 2029; the minimum ages for other pensions are to increase accordingly. The paragraphs below give an overview of the available types of old-age pension and the ages at which they can be claimed.

Only the insured person can claim an old-age pension. You must have reached a set age (the minimum age limit). Depending on the type of pension, certain other conditions may also have to be fulfilled. You can claim an old-age pension in full (full pension) or as a partial pension in the amount of one third, half or two thirds of the full pension entitlement.

Standard old-age pension

You can claim the standard old-age pension (Regelaltersrente) when you reach the minimum age provided that you have completed the 5-year general qualifying period. The minimum age is 65 years for people born before 1 January 1947. It is 67 for people born in 1964 or later. The minimum age rises in steps for people born in the years 1947 to 1963.

Exceptionally long service pension

From 2012, insured persons who are at least 65 years old and have accumulated at least 45 years of contributions for employment or gainful activity or for other periods taken into account can continue to claim an unreduced old-age pension from age 65.

Long-service pension

Insured persons can claim a long service pension if they have reached the age of 67 and completed the 35-year qualifying period. This pension can be claimed early from age 63. Those born before 1949 can claim an unreduced pension from age 65. For people born from 1948 to 1963, the minimum age for an unreduced pension rises in steps from 65 to 67.

Old-age pension for people with severe disabilities

Insured persons can claim a severe disability pension (Altersrente für schwerbehinderte Menschen) if they have reached the age of 65, are recognised as having at least a 50 percent degree of disability and have completed the 35-year qualifying period. This pension can be claimed early from age 62. People born before 1 January 1952 can still claim it from age 63 and may claim it early, subject in some cases to reductions, from age 60.

Old-age pension on account of unemployment or after partial retirement

This pension is paid to insured persons born before 1952 who have reached age 63, have completed the qualifying period of at least 15 years and, when payments are due to begin, either are unemployed and have been unemployed for at least 52 weeks since reaching the age of 58 years and six months or have been in partial retirement under the Partial Retirement Act (Altersteilzeitgesetz) for at least 24 calendar months. Additionally, it is necessary to have paid compulsory contributions in employment or self-employment for at least eight of the ten years before payments are due to begin.

People born before 1 January 1946 can claim the pension early from age 60. It is no longer available for people born after 1951.

Old-age pension for women

The old-age pension for women (Altersrente für Frauen) can be claimed - with reductions - by women born before 1952 who have reached the age of 60, completed the 15-year qualifying period and paid compulsory contributions for more than ten years since age 40.

The pension can be claimed early from age 60. It is no longer available for people born after 1951.