These are the differences between pension and civil servant pension

on Facebook An image has spread since May 22 with the text: “Why do people who work and pay contributions receive 48 percent pension and civil servants who do not pay contributions 71.75 percent pension?” The contribution has been published more than 2,900 times (as of: May 31) shared. Images with similar claims circulated already in 2018.

However, fundamental differences between the pension for civil servants and the statutory pension are disregarded. The stated percentage of civil servants is also the maximum rate – according to the Federal Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs (BMAS) the average value is lower.

This image about alleged pensions for civil servants and non-civil servants is shared on Facebook (Source: Facebook; Screenshot: CORRECTIV.Faktencheck)

BMAS: Old-age insurance systems are based on different principles and are not comparable

BMAS wrote to us on request that there are different principles behind the two systems for elderly insurance. When it comes to old age support, it is general three pillars Spoken: The statutory pension insurance fulfills the function of a regular insurance (first pillar), the company pension scheme and private benefit (eg the Riester pension) are supplementary pension schemes and constitute the second and third pillars.

In fact, many employees supplement their statutory pension with a company pension. According to a study from 2021, approx 18.5 million People receive an occupational pension or live in a household with people who are entitled to it. According to BMAS, the civil service pension covers the first and second pillars ofthat is, a standard and extra security.

The money for the two systems also comes from different sources. that statutory pension insurance is mainly funded by contributions from employees and employers as well as federal grants. Officials receive their old-age insurance from another system and in fact pay no contributions to the statutory pension insurance. Instead of statutory pension, they get one pension.

Pension level indicates the ratio between the size of the pension and the average income

The 48 percent pension mentioned on Facebook is probably the so-called pension level. It indicates how high the pension will later be in relation to the salary. The pension level is calculated on the basis of two assumptions: First, that the employee pays into the statutory pension insurance for 45 years. Second, that he or she has an income equal to the national average at this time. These are currently according to the German pension insurance 38,901 gross euros. At the end of 2021, the pension level was 48.2 percent, wrote us Dirk Manthey, spokesman for the German pension insurance. From July 2022, it will be 48.1 percent according to the Federal Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs.

Pension level says nothing about individual pension rights

“The pension level is therefore a key figure for the pension system’s performance,” reads BMAS. In short, it shows how pensions develop in relation to wages. However, it does not serve to comment on individual pension rights. Contrary to what is claimed on Facebook, it says nothing about the size of the pension. Because not all employees pay into the pension insurance for 45 years without interruptions or have the average income that is used to calculate the pension level.

The individual pension amount depends on the duration and size of the contribution payment as well as, for example, unemployment, periods of child rearing or education, Dirk Manthey confirmed. According to Manthey, pensioners who were insured in the statutory pension insurance for most of their working lives and have at least 35 years of insurance received an average gross old-age pension, ie. before tax, at 1,466 euros at the end of 2020 (men). 1,632 euros, women 1,225 euros).

The average pension for civil servants is below 71.75 percent

On average, civil servants receive a higher pension. According to the government’s supply report (PDF, page 43) In 2019, this was 3,150 euros gross for civil servants and federal judges. A prerequisite for retirement is, among other things, a period of service of at least five years.

The size of the pension is calculated on the basis of seniority and salary from the last two years before retirement. The pension comes from so-called employers (eg the federal states or the federal government).

According to BMAS, the civil service pension increases by 1.79 every year375 Percentage. It is limited to a maximum of 71.75 percent and is only achieved after 40 years of service (full time). Each additional year of service no longer affects the pension. The 71.75 percent corresponds to the figure given on Facebook, but according to BMAS, it is the maximum pension rate. The rate actually obtained is usually lower. According to it Federal Ministry of the Interior the average for civil servants and judges in 2021 was 67.2 percent.

Editors: Viktor Marinov, Matthias Bau

The main public sources for this fact check:

  • Frequently asked questions about pensions, Federal Ministry of the Interior: link
  • Frequently asked questions about pensions, German pension insurance: link

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