Information about the coronavirus



an elder couple on a bench

How does the pension system in Germany work?

The German pension system follows a 3-pillar model:

  • The first pillar consists of the statutory pension insurance. It is compulsory for employees in employment subject to compulsory insurance. Separate regulations apply for civil servants, farmers and other self-employed occupations.
  • The second pillar comprises the company protection. This means that the employer saves for the employees in order to pay them a pension.
  • Private pension provision forms the third pillar.

Each person independently takes measures for private provision through life insurance or by saving money.

All workers (employees) in employment subject to compulsory insurance in Germany must become members of the statutory pension insurance scheme, due to the so-called compulsory pens
ion insurance.

Compulsory pension insurance

The compulsory pension insurance is the German pension insurance. All workers essentially have compulsory insurance, as do also trainees, mothers and fathers raising children, people looking after relatives in need of care, people with disabilities, people in military or social service, students who also work, and people in receipt of sickness or unemployment benefit. Some self-employed people also have compulsory insurance under special conditions (including tradespeople, teachers, midwives, educators, carers, artists and publicists).

All other self-employed people can also join the pension insurance scheme or take out voluntary insurance.

Self-help contact points

There are self-help contact points in each district. They always work alongside the district centre and offer:
  • access to self-help for those seeking advice;
  • room and service groups;
  • networking forums initiatives
  • experts, e.g. In healthcare, helping with communication with patients.

In self-help groups, you can find people who are connected by a common topic, such as people who suffer from a common illness, disability or a mental conflict. Relatives of those affected also come along to self-help groups. Self-help groups also offer creative and cultural avenues. Further information