Germany has a highly developed welfare state. The principle of the welfare state is unchangeable in the Basic Law. The welfare state is therefore an obligation for politics. The state should secure the livelihoods of its citizens (social security) and ensure a balance between the socially weak and the socially strong (social justice). By securing old age and the most important life risks – such as illness, long-term care, unemployment – the rule of law is implemented.
Statutory social insurance is an essential element of the welfare state. Among them, the statutory pension insurance (GRV) is the largest social security system in the Federal Republic. In its current form, it emerged in many reform steps from the law on disability and old-age insurance passed by Chancellor Otto von Bismarck in 1889. In its long history, the benefits of the statutory pension insurance have developed from a mere allowance for general living requirements to the essential basis for a financially secure age.
Statutory pension insurance is the largest social security system in the Federal Republic and is fundamentally designed as a compulsory insurance for employees. In addition, certain groups of self-employed and other groups of people are compulsorily insured. For most people not subject to compulsory insurance, the statutory pension insurance offers the option of voluntary insurance or, for self-employed persons who are not subject to compulsory insurance, the compulsory insurance upon application.
- Insured persons who have reached the normal retirement age (65 to 67 years) and who have fulfilled the general waiting period of five years are entitled to the regular old-age pension.
- Employees who are only able to work for a few hours a day due to health reasons can apply for a pension due to their reduced ability to work.
- The statutory pension insurance not only offers protection to the insured in old age or in the event of reduced earning capacity, it also has the task of compensating their surviving dependents for missing maintenance in the form of survivor’s pensions in the event of death.
- If the ability to work is at risk or already impaired due to health reasons, insured persons can receive medical and occupational rehabilitation benefits from their responsible pension insurance institution.
Deutsche Sozialversicherung, Europavertretung:
Bundesministerium für Arbeit und Soziales, Ratgeber zur Rente: