Maternity pension contributions in Germany

How can parents apply for a pension for raising children in Germany? The size of the German pension for children.

German law on retirement pensions

Raising children in Germany is a job. For this work, even pension contributions to the state fund are paid. True, I had to live in Germany for ten years before my family found out about it. It’s not that someone is hiding such important information from us. All the necessary data is publicly available. It’s just that not a single official has ever talked to us on this topic, and it never entered my head to look for it.

In fact, what we learned late about such a law did not play a special role. It turned out that contributions for raising a child can be issued retroactively at any time before retirement. But it is better to do this early, as a number of securities will be required, which later will not be so easy to obtain after the fact.

The law on contributions to the pension fund for raising children (Kindererziehungszeit) was passed in Germany in 1986. The official “address” of the law is §56 SGB VI , that is, the fifty-sixth paragraph of the sixth volume of the social code.

The meaning is as follows. One of the child’s parents (by default, the mother) receives contributions from the state to the state pension fund as if he worked and received the average salary for Germany . The amount of contributions for each year is different and depends on what level of salaries was fixed at that time. For example, for 2019, contributions are paid on the basis that the parent raising the children received 38901 €.

In addition, it plays a role whether the parent had his own income while raising the child or not. If his mandatory contributions to the pension fund were already the maximum, then the state will not add anything. Now this may be the case for those who earn more than € 80,400 for the lands of the former Federal Republic of Germany and € 73,800 for the “new” Gdrovsky regions. For those who paid contributions close to the maximum, only the part that remains to the upper limit will be added.

The main purpose of this law is to prevent a situation where, due to the birth of children, the parent raising them cannot earn a pension. If he does not pay contributions to the pension fund, then in his old age he receives very little rent or nothing at all. If, closer to retirement age, there is a divorce or the loss of an earning spouse for another reason, the situation can become quite gloomy.

When can I get a parenting pension?

Contributions can be made only for one of the parents, including when both are involved in raising a child. It is clear that this makes more sense for the parent who earns less or does not work at all. The second parent is obliged to confirm in writing that he has no claims for contributions for his child. To do this, there is a special form in the application, where the parent refusing contributions enters his data and signs. You cannot split contributions for two.

For children born before 1992, you can receive pension contributions only for the first 12 months of the child’s life. Those who gave birth to children later than this date can count on as much as three years.

It doesn’t matter if the child is a parent or a foster child. They do not pay to those who gave birth, but to those who raised them.

Contributions are paid for each child separately. If the second child was born less than 3 years after the first, then they will begin to contribute money to the pension fund for him only after they have fully “paid” for the previous one.

Registration process

In order to receive pension contributions for raising a child, you need to fill out the V0820 form and send it to the pension fund. Filling out the questionnaire can be tricky. In case of difficulties, it does not hurt to seek advice from a pension fund employee. In our city, he comes to the mayor’s office for the whole day about once a month and receives visitors. Your best bet is to call your pension fund or your town hall and find out when and where to see this counselor. They can also help fill out the questionnaire over the phone.

In addition to the questionnaire, you will need to attach a copy of the child’s birth certificate. Perhaps the employees of the pension fund will be asked to provide more information. Then they will send a written request listing the required documents.

Contributions are paid only for those children who have lived in Germany between the ages of 0 to 36 (until 1992 birth to 12) months. For foreigners, it is imperative to show proof of residence in Germany for both the parent and the child. In our case, old Russian passports were enough. Had to make all copies of the mother and child visa pages from the very first date of entry. Checked pretty closely to see if there were any gaps between visas, so keep that in mind. For the time when the child or the parent did not have a residence permit in Germany , no pension contributions are paid.

At first, contributions are only accrued, but not actually transferred to the account of the pension fund. Therefore, the parent will not see any changes in the annual statements on the state of his account. Only after the youngest child turns 10 years old and at the same time the parent for whom the contributions are made is over 35, the money will go to the account of the pension fund and it will be possible to notice their effect on the total amount of the pension.

On average, over the past 10 years, the increase in pension has been 25-28 € per month for a year of upbringing. That is, having raised one child, you can count on a monthly pension of at least 75 €. In the lands of the former Federal Republic of Germany, a little more is charged than in the eastern part of Germany.

You have to pay pension contributions for five years to be eligible for a pension in Germany at all . Therefore, one child in this case cannot get rid of. You need to either bring up a second person, or work for a couple of years somewhere else, and not at home.

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Igor Smith/ author of the article
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