FAQs regarding the statutory pension – Frequently asked questions

Do you have questions about pension payments? Have a look at the most frequently asked questions here. You may find what you are looking for!

You will find frequently asked questions (FAQs) regarding company pensioners and allowance beneficiaries here: FAQs for company pensioners and allowance beneficiaries

Questions regarding current adaptation of pensions

I have a question regarding my pension adjustment notification.

Note for 2021:

“West” pensions will not be adjusted in 2021. This means that the current pension value of €34.19 will not change. If you receive a “West” pension from statutory pension insurance, you will not receive an adjustment notification this year.

The “East” pensions will be increased by 0.72% as of July 1, 2021, as part of the initiative to gradually adjust “East” pensions to match “West” pensions. The current “East” pension value will then be €33.47. If you receive an “East” pension, you will receive a corresponding adjustment notification in June or July.

Explanation:

The presentation of the previous and new amounts as well as the various explanatory and informational texts in the adjustment notifications will be printed in accordance with the requirements of the statutory pension insurance and accident insurance providers. 

If you have questions about the adjustment results or the new payment amount for your pension, please contact your insurance provider. Renten Service cannot provide you with information regarding pension law, such as its application and how the individual amounts indicated in your adjustment notification are calculated.

When are the pension adjustment notifications sent?

Dispatch of adjustment notifications begins in early June and is completed by late July. 

Explanation: 

If you receive your pension payment at the end of the month for the coming month, such as at the end of June for the month of July (“advance payment”), then your pension adjustment notification will be sent to you by the end of June as well. 

If you receive your pension payment at the end of the month for the previous month, such as at the end of July for the month of July (“payment in arrears”), then you will receive your pension adjustment notification sometime during the month of July.

Please take into account that there are several million adjustment notifications to be printed. Dispatch and delivery of all these notifications takes several weeks. We therefore kindly request that you not inquire prematurely as to the whereabouts of your adjustment notification. If you reside abroad, it may take longer for you to receive your pension adjustment notification.

Note for 2021:

“West” pensions will not be adjusted in 2021. If you receive a “West” pension from statutory pension insurance, you will not receive an adjustment notification this year.

Are you missing the pension notification adjustment for widow/widower’s compensation?

Sometimes several pensions are summarized in one adjustment notification. For example, if two insurance policy numbers are printed on the first page of the notification, the information on your widow’s/widower’s compensation is on located on the second page of the pension adjustment notification. If this is not the case, you will receive the notification adjustment for this pension separately in the next few days.

The pension adjustment amount is not correct?

Please contact the pension or accident insurance provider responsible for you with your questions. They will be able to help.

The address of the pension insurance provider can be found at the end of the adjustment notification or online at: www.deutsche-rentenversicherung.de.

I have switched health insurance providers. The information on your health insurance provider on the pension adjustment notification is incorrect?

Please contact your health insurance provider directly and show them the adjustment notification.

Questions regarding the Life Certificate

When can I expect to receive my life certificate (Lebensbescheinigung) for 2021?

The life certificate is usually included with your pension adjustment notification, which you should receive from Renten Service by the end of June 2021. If you have already received your pension adjustment notification and a life certificate was not enclosed, then you do not need to provide proof that you are still alive.

Note for 2021:
Pensions will not be adjusted this year in the former West German states.
In the states of former East Germany, pensions will be increased by 0.72% as of July 1, 2021, as part of the initiative to gradually adjust pensions in the “East” to match pensions in the “West”. 

Life certificates are generally not required if you live in one of the following countries: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Denmark, Finland, Israel, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Poland, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.
Pensions for residents of these countries are not adjusted, and residents do not receive a life certificate.

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, special conditions now apply to the life certificate for 2021.
Information can be found here.

What is a life certificate?

If you are entitled to pension payments from a German pension or accident insurance provider and live abroad, you must submit evidence once per year that you continue to meet the requirements to receive pension payments.

The life certificate is a form that must be truthfully completed, signed and returned in the enclosed envelope to the following address:

NL Renten Service
Deutsche Post AG
04078 Leipzig, Germany
It is imperative to use the address indicated on the return envelope.

Life certificates are generally not required if you live in one of the following countries:
Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Denmark, Finland, Israel, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Poland, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland. 

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, special conditions now apply to the life certificate for 2021.
Information can be found here.

Why is my completed life certificate sent to the Renten Service?

Pursuant to section 119 of Book 6 of the German Social Security Code (SGB VI), Deutsche Post AG’s Renten Service regularly reviews compliance with the requirements for payment of pensions abroad on behalf of insurance providers.

A life certificate shows that you are still eligible to receive your pension payments. Changes to your name, address or marital status can be entered in Part A of the life certificate.

When will I receive the life certificate form in the mail?

If you are entitled to pension payments from a German pension or accident insurance provider and live abroad, you will usually receive the life certificate form by the end of July. You will find a return envelope for your completed and certified life certificate enclosed in this letter. 

If you have not received anything from us by mid-August, you can download the life certificate form at rentenservice.de.
The form is available in 26 languages.

If you have already received your pension adjustment notification and a life certificate form was not enclosed, then you do not need a life certificate.

I live abroad but have not received a life certificate form.

If you have already received your pension adjustment notification and a life certificate form was not enclosed, then you do not need a life certificate.

Life certificates are generally not required if you live in one of the following countries:
Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Denmark, Finland, Israel, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Poland, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland. 

If you live in a country other than those listed above or have not received anything from us by mid-August, you can download the life certificate form at rentenservice.de.
The form is available in 26 languages.

What happens if I don't return my life certificate or don't return it on time?

If Renten Service does not receive your life certificate on time, we will send you a friendly reminder in September.

If you do not respond to the reminder by mid-October, your pension payments will be suspended as of November 30. Pension payments will not resume until you submit a life certificate.

If you submit your life certificate to us in a timely fashion shortly thereafter, your payments can be quickly resumed. You will also be reimbursed for all payments that you missed.

Otherwise Renten Service will return the payment order for your pension to your insurance provider. Should resumption of payment be necessary after that, you must contact your insurance provider. The address of your pension insurance provider can be found on your pension notice or your pension adjustment notification.

What address should I use to return my life certificate for 2021?

Renten Service contact information:

Deutsche Post AG
NL Renten Service
04078 Leipzig, Germany
Germany

E-mail: LB2021@deutschepost.de
Fax: +49 (0) 69 6530 1510 865

Questions regarding the pension ID card

Do I need to carry my pension ID card with me at all times?

You will need your pension ID card to receive discounts at cultural events, etc. We therefore recommend that you carry your pension ID card together with your personal ID in your wallet.

Additional information on the pension ID card is available on the Deutsche Rentenversicherung website.

When does the pension ID card become valid and for how long?

The new eco-friendly, reinforced pension ID card is valid immediately. You may only use the ID card as long as you are entitled to a pension.

Additional information on the pension ID card is available on the Deutsche Rentenversicherung website.

I have damaged/lost my pension ID card. What should I do?

If you require a replacement for your pension ID, please contact the Renten Service in writing and include your Postrentennummer (insurance policy number). You can find this number on your most recent adjustment notification, for example.

You can also reach us via our contact form. Please be aware that creating the new pension ID card will take some time.

Questions in conjunction with the death of a pension beneficiary

How can I notify the Renten Service of the death of a pension beneficiary?

Please notify us of the death in writing and provide the Renten Service with the name, the date of death, and the insurance policy number of the deceased. If possible, please include a death certificate with this notification.
 

For pensioners who reside in Germany

Deutsche Post AG
Renten Service Branch
13497 Berlin

For pensioners who do not reside in Germany

Deutsche Post AG
Renten Service Branch
13496 Berlin

Pensions paid incorrectly for the period after death will be reclaimed. Please do not close the account until the necessary transactions have been made. Please send checks back to the Renten Service.

To apply for a widow's/widower's pension, please contact the insurance provider most recently responsible for payment of the pension. The information and consulting offices of the insurance providers or the insurance offices of the communal/municipal governments can help you in applying.

Applying for advance payment on the pension (“death quarter payment”)

What is an advance payment on a pension for widows/widowers?

The advance payment is paid on the death quarter.

The death quarter is the time period until the end of the third calendar month after the month in which the insured spouse/life partner died.

A pension in the full amount of the insurance pension of the deceased is paid for this period, meaning that the advance payment is three times the amount of the monthly pension paid out for the month of death (without several payment components such as the contribution subsidy amount for voluntary/private health insurance and the child-raising benefit amount).

The own income of the widow/widower is not offset on the death quarter.

What are the requirements for an advance payment on a pension for widows/widowers?

  • The application must be submitted to the Renten Service within 30 days of the death of the pension beneficiary.
  • If the application is submitted late, processing by the Renten Service cannot be guaranteed. Later submission of the application, together with the application for a widow/widower’s pension, is possible when submitted to the pension insurance provider.
  • An original copy of the death certificate in which the widow or widower is listed as the spouse/life partner of the deceased must be enclosed.
  • The widow/widower or life partner must have their domicile or habitual residence in Germany.
  • The pension for the deceased pension beneficiary must have been paid on a monthly basis via the Renten Service.
  • The deceased’s pension payment cannot be paid to a welfare recipient or similar.
  • The marriage or civil partnership must have been in effect for at least one year at the time of death.

In some cases, the relevant pension insurance provider must first decide whether or not to make advance payment on the widow/widower’s pension (e.g., in cases of pension splitting between spouses and similar).

How do I apply for an advance payment on a pension for widows/widowers?

You can apply for advance payment using our change form. Please complete the form and send a signed printout of it together with the original copy of death certificate to:

Deutsche Post AG
Pension Service Branch
13497 Berlin, Germany

Your funeral home can also help you apply for the advance payment.

Will I have to pay the advance payment back?

The advance payment is a part of the widow’s/widower’s pension.

If the advance payment results in overpayment, the amount overpaid will be withheld by the pension insurance provider from the future widow’s/widower’s pension.

Where can I get answers to additional questions on advance payment on the widow’s/widower’s pension?

Please contact the pension insurance provider responsible for you with your questions. They will be able to help.

The address of the pension insurance provider can be found in the adjustment notification of the deceased pension beneficiary or online at: www.deutsche-rentenversicherung.de.

Questions regarding address and account changes

How can I notify the Renten Service of a change in my bank account?

Payments to an account in Germany:
Please notify us of the new IBAN, bank name, and account owner in writing. You must also include your insurance policy number. You can find your insurance policy number on the last page of your pension adjustment notice, for example.

Deutsche Post AG
Renten Service Branch
13497 Berlin

You are also welcome to use our change notification form.

Payments to an account outside of Germany:
The Renten Service needs a completed payment declaration / payment authorization that has been validated by your bank and signed. Download the form in your language from the Download Center.

Deutsche Post AG
Renten Service Branch
13496 Berlin

Due to the current situation regarding the global corona crisis, your bank’s confirmation of the Zahlungserklärung (payment declaration)/Zahlungsermächtigung (payment authorization) can be waived as an exception. In this case, please send us a copy of your bank statement for this bank account (not older than thirty days) together with the Zahlungserklärung (payment declaration)/Zahlungsermächtigung (payment authorization). In this exceptional situation, we will also accept transmission of the documents by fax (+49 221 5692-778) or e-mail sent to: rentenservice@deutschepost.de.

Update: For accounts with Italian banks, confirmation by the bank will be required again, effective August 1, 2020.

How can I notify you of a change in address?

Please notify us of your new address in writing and include your insurance policy number. If you live in Germany::

Deutsche Post AG
Renten Service Branch
13497 Berlin

If you do not live in Germany:

Deutsche Post AG
Renten Service Branch
13496 Berlin

You can also notify us online using our change notification form.

Questions regarding on-time receipt of pension

What do I need to do if I have not received a pension payment?

The pension is always paid on the last working day of a month and must be credited to your account by the bank managing your account by the end of this day (11:59 pm). If the payment has not been credited to your account by then, please notify us in writing and be sure to include your insurance policy number. Please also indicate as precisely as possible the month for which your pension was not paid.
 

For pensioners who reside in Germany

Deutsche Post AG
Renten Service Branch
13497 Berlin

For pensioners who do not reside in Germany

Deutsche Post AG
Renten Service Branch
13496 Berlin

In urgent cases, you can also reach us on the phone:

For pensioners who reside in Germany: 0221-5692-444
For pensioners who do not reside in Germany: 0049-221-5692-777

Questions regarding health insurance and taxes

Who can I contact with questions about my health insurance?

Please contact your health insurance provider directly. If you do not know who your health insurance provider is, please contact the relevant pension insurance provider, e.g. Deutsche Rentenversicherung Bund, Deutsche Rentenversicherung Schwaben, Deutsche Rentenversicherung Rheinland, etc.

Who can I turn to with questions regarding taxes on my pension?

Pensioners who reside in Germany can contact the tax office responsible for them.

Pensioners who do not reside in Germany can contact the following tax office, which is responsible for them:

Finanzamt Neubrandenburg (RiA)
Postfach 110140
17041 Neubrandenburg
Telefon: +49 395 44222 47000
Telefax: +49 395 44222 47100

www.finanzamt-rente-im-ausland.de

E-Mail: ria@finanzamt-neubrandenburg.de

How do I report receipt of my pension on my tax return?

You will receive an income statement from your pension insurance provider. If you received one last year, you will automatically receive a current income statement in the mail on an annual basis. They are usually sent out between mid-January and late February. Otherwise you can also request a statement online: www.deutsche-rentenversicherung.de/Steuerbescheinigung

Questions regarding the amount of your pension

Who can I contact with questions regarding the amount of my pension and/or how it is calculated?

Please contact the pension or accident insurance provider responsible for you. All of the required information for the respective contacts is available under the following links.

Pension insurance providers
Accident insurance providers

Questions regarding data protection

Does the European General Data Protection Regulation (EU-GDPR) apply to the Renten Service?

Responsible handling of your data is required in accordance with the provisions of the German Social Security Codes (including SGB I, VI, VII, X), the German Federal Data Protection Act (Bundesdatenschutzgesetz) and the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). For more detailed information on data protection and your rights, please visit our websites www.deutschepost.de/datenschutz and Overview of data protection at Renten Service.