Pension insurance protects you and your family if your ability to earn income is endangered or reduced or if your employment ends due to age or death. State-regulated pension insurance is automatically deducted from your gross income and your employer pays half of the monthly premium. Your employer is responsible for registering you with the appropriate health insurance provider who then in turn registers you with the other social security providers. After being registered, you will receive an insurance number and an insurance booklet from the pension insurance provider.
Receiving credit for pension insurance payments
Countries in the EU and treaty partners (Australia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Chile, China, India, Israel, Japan, Canada and Quebec, South Korea, Kosovo, Croatia, Morocco, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, Tunisia, Turkey, USA) must give credit for any payments into a pension plan in Germany.
Reimbursement of pension insurance payments
If you return to a country with which there is no social security treaty, you can have the pension plan payments that you made in Germany reimbursed to you. After a waiting period of 2 years, you can apply to the German Pension Insurance Plan (Deutsche Rentenversicherung) for reimbursement. There is more information about this on the website of the Deutsche Rentenversicherung.
Employer Pension Plan (VBL-Versicherung)
For employees of Heidelberg University there is an employer pension plan in addition to old age pension insurance through the Versorgungsanstalt des Bundes und der Länder VBL.
Academic employees with fixed-term contracts can be exempted from obligatory contribution to this pension plan. The requirements for exemption are, however, that the employee has newly entered into an employment agreement that is limited to not more than 5 years and that he or she has not previously contributed to the supplementary employer pension plan.
The employer will then sign up the employee for the voluntary insurance of the VBL. In this case the employer only pays a reduced contribution rate. Application for exemption must be made to the personnel department of the University within two months after the starting date of employment.
The Web Portal "Find your Pension"
Get support in understanding your pension provision with www.findyourpension.eu.
As an internationally mobile researcher your employment biography will consist of different stages with several employers in different countries. Therefore, questions and gaps in information may arise when it comes to your social security and pension rights. Did you know that pension provision in most countries does not only cover your life standard at old-age? It also deals with benefits in the event of disability and offers protection to your spouse/civil partner and children.
FindyourPension is a website containing concise information about the different pension institutions in the various European countries. It is dedicated to mobile researchers and addresses the issues regarding your future pension claims within Europe. The website is part of a project which is sponsored by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research. The information portal is being established by the VBL (a public sector supplementary pension scheme) in close cooperation with universities, research facilities from the public sector as well as pension institutions and associations. The website is a work in constant progress and already online with a version containing important countries in research. Its aim is to support you in learning about the WHERES and the HOWS of pensions in Europe, thus leading to assembling the details of your accrued entitlements.