For people who have never worked in their lives, the right to a pension is waived. But how much money do pensioners who receive basic security receive?
Hamburg – As a general rule, work should be rewarding. And preferably for retirement, too. This is because those who work usually also pay into the German pension insurance in order to be able to live after leaving working life. Whether it is 2500 euros a month for pensioners or perhaps less, depends just as much on various factors as the circumstance when you can retire.
Some have the option of retiring earlier than at 67 or even enjoying retirement abroad. Others don't have the luxury of retiring at 63, but need to accumulate their full 45 years of insurance. Provided they do not have any chronic illnesses or severe disability that would allow them to retire earlier.
Unemployed people who have never worked before cannot count on a pension, but at least on basic security. (Symbolic photo) © Alejo Manuel Avila/dpa
Is there an entitlement to a pension if you have never worked?
Unemployed people, on the other hand, cannot usually look back on 45 years of contributions. However, they are also exempt from paying into the pension fund. Nevertheless, according to the German Pension Insurance (DRV), only those who can prove at least five years of waiting are entitled to a pension.
What is the waiting period for retirement?
The waiting period refers to the minimum insurance period with the statutory pension insurance. Payments into the pension fund must be made over a period of at least five years in order to be eligible for a standard old-age pension, a disability pension and a death pension. The child-raising pension and the widow's pension are part of the death pension.
Voluntary contributions can be used to compensate for missing years.
However, unemployed people who have never worked for the pension cannot claim this entitlement because they do not have the five years required to do so.
Apply for basic security instead of a pension if you have never worked
Nevertheless, unemployed people living in Germany do not have to go away empty-handed, even if they have never worked. Instead of a pension, they can apply for basic security. According to the German Pension Insurance, these can be claimed by those who have reached the standard retirement age but do not receive an old-age pension and cannot cover their living expenses with their income.
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The basic income support is also intended to cover the costs incurred for accommodation and heating, health and long-term care insurance and pension contributions. The German Pension Insurance recommends that all those whose income per month is less than 924 euros should at least have an application for basic security checked.
Instead of a pension if you have never worked: How much is the basic security?
Like the pension, the amount of basic security also depends on several factors. Assets and income play just as important a role as the assets of one's own partner. If you have never worked, the basic security is intended to cushion those people who are not entitled to a pension.
Single adults can expect to receive at least 502 euros, while couples receive 451 euros per partner. With this amount, it may be advisable to take on a part-time job that does not exceed the additional income limit.
Pension without work: What counts as income for basic security?
- Parental allowance over 300 euros
- Earned income
- Rental income
- Child benefit
- Sick pay
- Rental income
- Parental maintenance payments
What does not count as income
- Parental allowance up to 300 euros
- Benefits of an additional, voluntary pension scheme
- Ground rent
- Maximum gross pension of 224.50 euros (33 years of basic pension periods are a prerequisite)
- 30 per cent of income from self-employment or employment (maximum 50 per cent of standard requirement level 1)
- Care allowance
- Tax-exempt activities up to 250 euros (e.g. volunteering)
- Maintenance claims against children or parents
Entitlement to basic security: What counts as assets
- House and real estate assets
Before a claim for basic security can be asserted, the assets must first be used up.
Entitlement to basic security: What does not count as assets
- Adequate land or apartment. The prerequisite is that the property is inhabited by the owner
- Family and heirlooms (as long as the non-material value far exceeds the actual value)
- Ordinary household goods
- Smaller cash amounts (single persons: 10,000 euros, partners: 10,000 euros)
- Riester pension as a private pension scheme
Once the application for basic security has been approved, it is paid out for 12 months before social assistance has to be applied for again.
Pension increase expected: Those who have never worked are not entitled
Even if the table shows that an increase in pension can be expected this year, people who have never worked are not entitled to it. But the state has at least set up a social safety net with the basic security, which gives pensioners at least a certain security.