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Source: BUS Sachsen-Anhalt (Linie6PLus)

Applying for a half or full orphan's pension


A distinction is made between a half orphan's pension and a full orphan's pension. You will receive a half-orphan's pension if one parent who is liable to pay maintenance is still alive, and a full orphan's pension if both parents who are liable to pay maintenance have died.

The half-orphan's pension is 10 percent, the full orphan's pension 20 percent of the insured person's pension to which the deceased parent would have been entitled or to which they were already entitled.

You will receive a supplement to both the full and half-orphan's pension based on the pensionable periods completed by the deceased parent or parents. If an orphan is entitled to several half-orphan's pensions, only the highest one will be paid.

If the parent or parents died before reaching a certain age, the orphan's pension is reduced. For deaths before 2012, this age limit was 63. From 2012, the age limit will be gradually raised from 63 to 65 by December 31, 2023.

Orphans' pensions are regularly paid until the orphan's 18th birthday. Under certain conditions, you can receive an orphan's pension until the orphan reaches the age of 27.

Note: If you adopt an orphan who is already receiving an orphan's pension, they will continue to receive it. It will continue to be paid unchanged even if the orphan marries.

Surviving children receive an orphan's pension from the pension insurance provider if the deceased parent or parents have fulfilled the general qualifying period of 5 years. This includes

  • Contribution periods (compulsory and voluntary contributions),
  • substitute periods,
  • child-raising periods,
  • periods from pension equalization and pension splitting between spouses,
  • periods of marginal employment with contributions paid by the employer and
  • additional earnings points for earnings from marginal employment exempt from compulsory insurance.

The following are entitled to an orphan's pension

  • natural or adopted children of the deceased,
  • stepchildren and foster children who lived in the household of the deceased and
  • grandchildren and siblings who lived in the household of the deceased or were mainly supported by him/her,

if they:

  • are not yet 18 years old or
  • are not yet 27 years old and:
    • are in school or vocational training for more than 20 hours per week,
    • are doing voluntary service or
    • are unable to care for themselves due to a physical, mental or psychological disability.
  • An orphan's pension can also be paid for transitional periods of a maximum of four calendar months, for example between two training courses.
  • An orphan's pension entitlement may be extended beyond the age of 27, for example due to the prior completion of voluntary military service during the probationary period.
  • Application for orphan's pension
  • Identity document (such as identity card, passport, birth certificate or family register),
  • Death certificate of the deceased parent
  • if applying for an orphan's pension for an orphan of full age:
    • Proof of schooling or vocational training or
    • Proof of voluntary service.

There are no costs.

  • Retroactive payment of orphan's pension: up to 12 calendar months before the month of application

Processing usually takes up to 3 months. Once all the necessary application documents have been submitted, the pension insurance provider will make a prompt decision.

  • Objection
    • Detailed information can be found in the decision on your pension application.
  • Appeal to the social court
    • Detailed information can be found in the notice of appeal.
  • Forms available: Yes
  • Written form required: Yes
  • Informal application possible: No
  • Personal appearance necessary: No
  • Online service available: Yes

You can submit your application online, in person or in writing.

Online application:

  • On the German Pension Insurance (DRV) website under "Online services" you will find detailed information on the process.
  • If you follow the "Submit application" link, you will be guided through the next steps and can select the desired application.
  • Alternatively, you can use the online services with registration. For example, you can immediately see which insurance periods have already been recorded. You also save time and do not have to re-enter data you already know.
  • Complete the application in full and upload the required documents.
  • Submit your application online.
  • You will receive a confirmation of submission.
  • The responsible pension insurance provider will check your application.
  • You will receive notification of your application.

Personal application:

  • Compile the necessary documents for your application and make an appointment with the DRV.
  • When making an appointment online, your personal details and, if possible, your insurance number will be required.
  • You can select a desired advice center and your preferred date. Depending on the availability of free appointments, you will receive a proposal for a binding consultation appointment.
  • During your personal consultation, your application will be recorded electronically and forwarded online to the relevant pension insurance provider.
  • The responsible pension insurance provider will check your application.
  • You will receive a decision on your application.

Written application:

  • Go to the DRV website.
  • Download the required application form.
  • You can also collect the form in person from the information and advice centers.
  • Complete the application form, sign it and attach the required documents.
  • Send all documents
    • by post to your pension insurance provider or
    • hand them in at one of the local advice centers.
  • The responsible pension insurance provider will check your application.
  • You will receive a decision on your application.

A person you trust can also submit your pension application on your behalf. Please submit a power of attorney to the pension insurance fund for this purpose. As long as the power of attorney is valid, the pension insurance company will only contact the person you have authorized.

If you give your consent to electronic communication, all correspondence can take place online. You can either use the electronic mailbox under the online services with registration or De-Mail.

If there is an accident insurance case (e.g. an accident at work), an orphan's pension can also be paid from the accident insurance. There are different requirements and calculation bases in this case.

Federal Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs (BMAS)

The text was automatically translated based on the German content.

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