Foto: Eine junge Familie

Compulsory insurance

The obligation to make compulsory insurance contributions during your time of employment inGermany is based on the German legal regulations in principle (the principle that insurance contributions are paid in the country where employment is performed). To this regard your nationality or the place of business of your employer are irrelevant. Certain groups of self-employed persons are also liable to pay insurance contributions.

When employed or self-employed abroad you are to that effect bound by the social security laws of the state in which you are working, meaning your obligation to pay insurance contributions must be checked according to the laws of that state.

Exceptions to the principle that insurance contributions are paid in the state where employment is performed include where it is planned that you will be employed/self-employed in the other state for a short time only (posting) or where an exception from the standard regulations has been agreed with a Member State of the EU/EEA or a Contracting State. For more information on the insurance obligations of foreign nationals employed in Germany, the posting of employees abroad and the agreement of exceptions please go to the Deutsche Krankenversicherung Ausland (health insurance liaison office for insured persons residing abroad) website.

Voluntary insurance

If you are over 16 years old and are not liable to pay compulsory contributions, you are entitled to pay voluntary contributions if you permanently reside in Germany. This applies to all persons, irrespective of their nationality

Even if you reside abroad, as a German national you are entitled to pay voluntary contributions.

If you are a foreign national resident outside of Germany, you will only be allowed to pay voluntary insurance contributions provided that certain conditions are fulfilled. This entitlement in these cases depends on your nationality and the state in which you reside and you must have already paid a certain amount of contributions in Germany before.

Applying to enter the statutory pension insurance scheme and become subject to making compulsory contributions

If you are self-employed in Germany and are not subject to paying compulsory contributions, apart from paying voluntary contributions you are entitled to apply to become subject to paying compulsory contributions in Germany

This option is recommended to you if your pension entitlement can, in the given circumstances, only be maintained by paying compulsory contributions (in case of pensions for reduced earning capacity for example).

Also employees who are employed abroad for a short term and are not liable to pay compulsory contributions by reason of this employment can apply to join the system as just described. An appropriate application must be submitted to an office based in Germany. These include commercial enterprises or humanitarian organisations.

Insurance periods for bringing up children

If you normally reside in Germany and raise children in Germany, as a rule the first three years after a child’s birth have been credited as compulsory periods of insurance due to raising children since 1992. If you have raised children before 1992 two years are taken into account. The insurance contributions are made by the German government.

Furthermore, up to a child’s 10th birthday periods to be taken into consideration due to child care will be taken into account, they may positively affect your entitlement to pension and your pension amount.

Also if you raise children abroad you may be credited creditable periods for pension purposes under certain circumstances. However, this requires a direct affiliation with the German state pension insurance scheme, which is to be verified in each individual case.

Deutsche Fassung

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