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Pension: How do I clear my retirement account?


Insurance things should be checked regularly - this is especially true for the pension, because it is usually tens of thousands of euros. Why, when and how often you should check your retirement account: the most important tips.

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In view of old age, you shouldn't give away money

Photo: MATT-PORTEOUS / Getty Images

When was the last time you looked through your insurance history?

If that was a while ago, then a retirement account clarification should definitely be on the to-do list for 2022.

"The pension always seems so far away - but later you get annoyed," says Alexander Birkhahn, lawyer and specialist lawyer for labor law from Koblenz.

Anyone who refrains from clarification threatens to give away money.

The expert explains why a pension account clarification is worthwhile at any age, how you can check your insurance history and who can help with it.

What is a retirement account?

The pension insurance has a separate account for each and every insured person in Germany.

"This account is basically like a kind of bank account, just not with the bank, but with the pension insurance company," says Birkhahn.

Here, so to speak, a credit is generated for later retirement.

Ideally, all periods of time that have an impact on pension entitlement are noted and reported to the insurance company: employment, children, marriage, divorce and education.

Why should I clarify my retirement account?

However, not all relevant information is always passed on to the pension insurance.

"For example, it is not automatically recorded if I have children and then claim parental leave," says Birkhahn.

Errors can also occur with the duration and length of training or employment periods.

This is precisely why it is important to clarify your pension account on a regular basis: it can have a significant impact on the amount of your pension.

Gaps in the insurance history can have a negative impact on both the waiting period and the pension amount.

Clarify the pension account with the insurance history - this is how it works

How can that be avoided?

The retirement account clarification has a long, cumbersome name, but it is relatively simple.

"Basically you don't need anything at first," says Birkhahn, only the pension insurance number should be known.

Then it takes a little patience, a pen and a good memory.

The process in five steps:

  • The insurance history

    : An insurance history can be requested online using the pension insurance number.

    This will be sent by post.

    The document should contain all the time periods that are relevant to the granting of a pension.

    From the 43rd birthday, the German pension insurance sends out such a progress unsolicited every six years.

  • Unexplained times

    : If available, »unexplained times« are listed in the middle of the first page of the form. These are periods of time that the pension insurance cannot clearly assign. Here you should rummage through documents and memory: What did you do during this time? Possible employment relationships, training, social benefits or other activities relevant to the pension can be added here. This closes gaps in the insurance history. In order to substantiate the information, copies of the respective documents should be enclosed (e.g. a certificate, a certificate of study progress or an employment contract).

  • Clarification

    : All other information - time periods as well as personal data - should be carefully looked through and checked for correctness and completeness.

  • Submit

    : You usually have six months to send the insurance history and the relevant documents back to the pension insurance.

  • The rest of the work is done by the pension insurance


    When the process is complete, there will be a notification by post.

    This should also be checked again.

    If in doubt, a review procedure can then be applied for.

  • Help with pension account clarification - what is relevant?

    Which activities and information are relevant for the duration and amount of the pension?

    The following are important for the pension entitlement:

    • job

    • Children, marital status

    • Training times

    • Incapacity for work

    • Rehabilitation or participation in working life

    • Period of sickness before starting work

    • Protection periods due to maternity and pregnancy

    • Periods of unemployment

    • Times of the training search

    • Military service

    • Apprenticeship as credit time

    • Pension times

    • Caring for loved ones

    Divorces are a special case - an account clarification procedure is automatically triggered here.

    In general, however, it is better to state too much than too little.

    "That doesn't do any harm, then I'll get the information from the pension insurance that it's not relevant," advises Birkhahn.

    Who can help me clarify my account?

    If you are still unsure, you can contact the Deutsche Rentenversicherung directly or ask a pension adviser.

    "There are approved pension advisors who usually help with the calculation of the pension." Birkhahn, on the other hand, does not think much of online services for clarifying pension accounts.

    "There are great doubts about the seriousness of the providers." The pension account clarification itself is only done by the German pension insurance.

    For the rest of the work, collecting the receipts, online services shouldn't be of much help.

    What does the pension account clarification cost?

    Clarifying the pension account and requesting the insurance history are free of charge.

    Only the postage for a standard letter is due.

    The main work of the process is simply tracing back and searching for the receipts.

    This is precisely why, according to Birkhahn, it pays to start early.

    The memory doesn't get better: "The later you do this, the more difficult it usually becomes."

    Source: spiegel

    All business articles on 2022-01-12

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