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Pension Scheme

Regardless of nationality and the duration of an individual´s stay it is compulsory for all permanent employees to participate in the German state pension scheme. It is also of no relevance whether you pay pension contributions to a foreign pension fund or whether you have a civil servant status in your home country.

Your employer will register you with the respective health insurance provider which will then forward the registration to all other social security providers including the German national pension fund. Contributions to the pension insurance fund are automatically paid for from your monthly salary. The current contribution rate amounts to 19,5% of your total salary before tax. One half of the contribution is paid by your employer, the other half is deducted from your salary. Note however that if your stay is based on a fellowship no contributions have to be made to German state pension scheme. However, you will still need a health insurance.

Nevertheless, there are some exceptions to this territorial principle. These exceptions result from German legal regulations or are based on agreements reached between the Federal Republic of Germany and other countries (double taxation and social insurance agreements):

For further information, consult the website of the German Public Health Insurance Association.


Recognition of pension rights:

Member states of the EU or Agreement Partners mutually recognize periods during which pension rights have been accumulated in Germany. Note however, that countries without a social security agreement with Germany cannot be added to German pension entitlements. Please get in touch with your home country´s pension fund for concrete details. In general we strongly recommend to enquire your entitlements with the different social security providers in each country you have already been employed in. It is rather unusual that a single national pension fund would pay all periods covered in different countries. However, your pension scheme contributions will remain valid until you reach the pensionable age varying according to each country´s legislation.


Pension Contribution refunds:

If after your stay you return to a country which does not have a social security agreement with Germany you can apply for a refund of paid contributions to the German system. The application may be handed in the earliest after a two years waiting period. We strongly recommend that you get in touch with the local affiliate of the `Deutsche Rentenversicherung´ before leaving the country in order to clarify all issues concerning contributions to the German pension system as well as the possibility of refunds. Please also see their homepage to learn more about these issues. The site can be switched easily to various languages.


Occupational Pensions:

If your stay in Germany is based on an employment contract with KIT you will also be included in the additional pension scheme of the so-called `Versorgungsanstalt des Bundes und der Länder´ which offers occupational pensions for all employees of the public sector. Contributions to this scheme are fixed at a certain percentage.

If your employment as a scientist is based on a short-term contract you can be exempted from this mandatory pension scheme. Please note that in this case you will have to apply for the exemption within the first two months of your employment. Even if you are exempted from VBL´s statutory pension scheme KIT will still have to register you for their so-called `voluntary insurance scheme´. In this case only the employer will pay into the scheme with a reduced premium. For more information on the `Versorgungsanstalt des Bundes und der Länder (VBL)´ and their respective products please see their website. In the upper right corner you will find a button with which you can easily switch to the English version of the entire site.

For more information about the pension schemes for employees in a short term scientific employment the VBL has published a document online.



findyourpansionFindyourPension 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.

Please visit the website for more information: www.findyourpension.eu


On March 4th, 2015, the Audimax of CS saw “Who will pay my pension some day ”, an event providing internationally scientists with information about their special situation regarding pensions.

The event hosted by the International Scholars & Welcome Office (IScO), the Deutsche Rentenversicherung (DRV) and the Versorgungsanstalt des Bundes und der Länder (VBL) informed in several lectures about the general pension landscape in Germany. Afterwards interested scientists had the opportunity to find out more about their personal situation in individual consultations with DRV and VBL experts.

Obviously the target group of international scientists had a great need for information about the state pension (DRV) and supplementary pension (VBL), which was reflected in the large response of more than 70 participants.

It is planned to offer this event again in future on a regular basis.