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The basic pension serves as an economic subsidy for pensioners who have earned less in their professional lives. Who is entitled to the money and what do you have to do to get it?

Update of January 21, 2023: Already knew? How much “pocket money” is a pensioner in a nursing home entitled to?.

First report of January 8, 2023: Berlin – Many consumer in Germany, more people make ends meet with their statutory pension. The government wants to help with the so-called basic pension, especially for citizens who worked a lot during their time, raised their children, but earned below average. This supplement is paid in addition to the existing pension and can go up to 419 euros per month. who is entitled to the money 24hamburg.de explains how the surcharge is composed.

Pensioner: A person who is no longer employed or hardly employed and earns a living on a pension
Pension: Legal or private insurance benefit
Demarcation of individuals: Living off your savings
Demarcation pensioner: Receive a pension instead of a pension, i.e. a majority state pension benefit that is not based on previously paid contributions, but on service-related pension rights.

Basic pension as a supplement for pensioners: who is entitled to the money?

In the summer of 2020, the German Bundestag addressed the additional support from the basic pension agreed, and the law finally entered into force on January 1, 2021. Since then, certain pensioners have been entitled to the supplement, which is paid together with the state pension. The amount of the basic pension is determined individually and the beneficiaries are informed in the pension notice.

Old hands hold euro banknotes
Some pensioners are entitled to the so-called basic pension surcharge: beneficiaries can get up to 419 euros. © Frank Hoermann/SVEN SIMON/Imago

But, what must be done to collect the basic pension supplement? Retirees who are at least 33 to at most 35 years of the so-called basic pension periods are entitled to the money. According to the German pension insurance, this includes:

  • Periods of mandatory contribution paid by others or self-employed
  • Mandatory contribution times for raising and caring for children
  • Times of consideration for the upbringing and care of children
  • Times you received sickness or rehabilitation benefits
  • Substitution times (for example, political prison terms in the GDR)
  • Advice: Time acquired abroad can also count if the time is to be taken into account for a pension under European law or a social security agreement.

But be careful: mini-jobs without payment of own contributions are not taken into account, as are the times in which voluntary contributions were paid, as well as periods of unemployment and the complementary period.

Supplement for pensioners: when are you entitled to the basic pension?

But not everyone automatically has it. Pensioners are entitled to the basic pension, which has 35 years of basic pension assessment periods. The second important aspect that plays to receive the supplement is the average income during working life. This must have been at least 30 percent and less than 80 percent of the average income in Germany.

Average earnings change each year and vary by Financial Tips News in 2023 around 42,000 euros per year. If the monthly income is less than 30 percent of these in certain periods (that is, about 1,050 euros gross), these phases are not included. The same applies if the person in question has earned more than 80 percent of the average income during his working life. In 2023, that is around 2,800 euros gross per month.

Transition zone for the basic pension

According to the German pension insurance, the surcharge of the basic pension starts in a so-called transition area at 33 years of the basic pension periods. Pensioners who are at least 33 years old but less than 35 years old with basic pension periods receive the basic pension supplement on a scale. Therefore, there is a smaller supplement that increases each month until the full basic pension is reached at age 35.

Maximum amount of 419 euros per month for pensioners: how much is the basic pension?

But how exactly can you calculate the amount of the basic pension if you are entitled to it as a pensioner? First, the average value of the periods corresponding to the surcharge calculation is doubled. However, this amount is then reduced by 12.5 percent and is calculated for a maximum of 35 years.

According to estimates of the German pension insurance the average basic pension is around 75 euros per month – but under optimal circumstances, pensioners can also take out up to €419 a month.

How high can my pension be to receive the full basic pension?

However, what must be taken into account when calculating the basic pension is the income test. Because income counts towards the surcharge, only pensioners who have a monthly income of up to €1,250 as a single person or up to €1,950 as a married couple will receive the full amount. If the income is higher, 60 percent of the surcharge of the basic pension is counted under the German pension insurance. With a monthly income of 1,600 euros and up -2,300 euros for married couples- it is even counted at 100 percent.

Your own income counts as income Pensions and other taxable income. The decisive factor here is the income from the previous calendar year, that is, 2021 in 2023. By the way, you can as a pensioner you can also deduct certain expenses from your taxes.

No need to calculate the basic pension yourself – pensioners are paid automatically

In addition to all the complicated factors that have to be taken into account in the basic pension, the surcharge also has its good side: The financial injection does not have to be requested separately, since the pension insurance automatically determines the basic pension periods and also checks the other requirements of all pensioners themselves. Deutsche Rentenversicherung also automatically contacts pension recipients abroad as soon as a basic pension supplement is an option for them. Payment is also automatic.

The Federal Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs assumes that around 1.3 million pensioners in Germany will benefit from the basic pension. But it doesn’t stop at the surcharge: In fact, there are Eight Government Grants Retirees Should Know About.

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