The pension insurance pays out over 18.7 million old-age pensions every month. Almost a quarter of these are pensions that no longer exist.

It sounds strange: every month more than four million pensioners receive a statutory old-age pension that no longer exists. This is according to data from the German Pension Insurance, which it has published on its portal “”.

Accordingly, at the end of 2023, almost 2.9 million old-age pensions were paid to women and around 1.49 million old-age pensions were paid due to unemployment or part-time work. Both types of pension expired about ten years ago – but there are still eligible senior citizens.

Almost a quarter (23.3 percent) of all old-age pensions transferred monthly can be attributed to these abolished pensions. In total, the pension insurance had transferred around 18.74 million old-age pensions at the end of 2023 – almost 170,000 more than a year earlier. The following graphic shows how the old-age pensions are distributed:

Not surprisingly, the largest share is the standard old-age pension. You are entitled to this as soon as you have paid into the statutory pension fund for five years. You also have to be old enough to receive it. Read here when this is the case for your year of birth.

In second place, with 2.9 million payments, is the old-age pension for women, which is only available to pensioners born before 1952. This allowed women aged 60 and over to take an old-age pension without deductions, provided they had been compulsorily insured in the pension insurance scheme for more than ten years after their 40th birthday and had made pension contributions for a total of at least 15 years. At the end of 2023, an average of 1,065 euros in old-age pension was paid out to women.

Third place currently goes to the old-age pension for those who have been insured for a long time, which allows you to retire early and with a reduction in your pension once you reach the age of 63 and have at least 35 years of insurance. It has been paid out 2.45 million times. On average, this type of pension paid 1,260 euros per month.

What is striking is that although the old-age pension for long-term insured persons with a 35-year waiting period is significantly easier to obtain than the old-age pension for particularly long-term insured persons with a 45-year waiting period, the latter is likely to move up to third place as early as next year. The type of pension colloquially known as the “pension at 63” has already been paid out almost as often as its “little sister” with 2.41 million transfers. Its popularity is no coincidence: at the end of 2023, it was 25 percent higher than the pension for long-term insured persons (1,260 euros) on average at 1,574 euros per month.

The “pension at 63” is only available to people with more than 45 years of insurance. In contrast to the pension for long-term insured persons, which is available from 35 years of insurance, it is free of deductions. However, despite its name, it has long been impossible to claim it from the age of 63. This starting age only applied to people born before 1953. You can read about the age limits that apply to later generations here.

The smallest share of old-age pensions is the no longer accessible old-age pension due to unemployment or after part-time work in old age (1.49 million). At an average of 1,545 euros, it was only slightly lower than the “pension at 63” in 2023. This type of pension is also only available to people born before 1952. The requirements included, among other things, that working life ended with at least two years of part-time work in old age or with a period of unemployment.


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