Basic security and pension archive

Too often retirees find that their pension from work is not enough to make a living.

There may also be something from a privately financed pension scheme for old-age pensions and basic security. Or assets have been saved. Or there is no rent to be paid as home ownership has been created.

But what if all of that isn’t enough.

Quick question about retirement

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In the event of financial need, the legislature has provided social assistance as a fall-back benefit with the Twelfth Book of the Social Code (SGB XII). The specific form of social assistance depends on the type of old-age pension, i.e. the age of the pensioner.

Old-age pension and basic security

If the age for the regular old-age pension has been reached, basic security in old age applies according to § 41 SGB XII.

But what if the old-age pension was drawn early? Or had to be claimed through a lawful request from the job center? In these cases in particular, there is a greater risk that the needy may also arise when drawing a pension than when entering the regular retirement pension. Because in this case the early retiree has to live with deductions of up to 10.8%.

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The basic pension comes.

In the case of an early retirement pension, it is not the basic security in old age that applies, but the support for living expenses according to § 27 SGB XII.

Both services are initially granted according to the same rules. First, the need for the necessary livelihood is determined. This consists of the standard rate and the necessary accommodation costs. The standard rate is based on the age and family situation of the beneficiary. This is currently € 409.00 for a single pensioner and € 368.00 for a retired couple. There may still be an additional requirement, e.g. due to a severe disability. Added to this are the necessary accommodation costs. These are not stipulated nationwide. The cities and counties determine the appropriateness of these costs on their own.

The income earned is counted towards the determined needs. In principle, all income is taken into account. Exceptions may be: the basic pension according to the Federal Supply Act, benefits with compensation character and child-rearing benefits for mothers who were born before 1921. If a community of needs exists, the partner’s income is also taken into account.

Old-age pension and basic security: income credit

The income calculation also shows the difference between living support in the event of an early retirement pension and basic security in old age. In the first case, maintenance recourse to maintenance providers, e.g. the children, is possible without restriction, this is limited in the basic security. Here, maintenance recourse is only possible if the annual income exceeds € 100,000.

If there is a need, taking into account income, no benefit is still granted as long as there is realizable property. This excludes amounts of up to € 5,000 (since this year, previously € 2,600).

The basic security in old age is only granted for an order.

And even if the support for living expenses has to be granted even if the service provider becomes aware of the need for help in another way – an application ensures that the service provider acts.

Calculate pension

Calculate pension correctly and reliably!

– Calculate the current pension
– Calculate the future pension
– Correctly determine pension amount, avoid loss of pension

If one of the benefits has been granted, e.g. exemption from the obligation to pay broadcasting fees or co-payments with health insurance can also be requested. Housing allowance, however, is no longer granted.


However, a pensioner whose income just covers social assistance needs can be entitled to housing benefit. If a social assistance benefit is rejected, it is also advisable to apply accordingly.

Author of the post

Nadja Kirschner

Nadja Kirschner is a pension advisor. Her mission is to recognize what has not been said thanks to her female intuition and to support her clients emotionally and professionally.

In old age, the pension should be enough for a carefree life. This is not possible for all pensioners. Hartz IV-level pensions are not uncommon, despite decades of work. The causes are many. Due to misunderstood shame, social benefits are not applied for to secure a livelihood. We clarify what other social benefits are possible in old age in addition to the pension.

If the pension is not enough, you wonder what you should live on. The cost of living increases every year. The pension adjustments that annually improve the pension, pass not always out. The legislator is obliged to ensure the so-called minimum subsistence level. It follows the principle of human dignity and the welfare state requirement.

If the pension is not enough, there are many reasons
  • years of work in the low wage sector
  • precarious employment relationships, constant change of jobs and breaks with unemployment
  • Jobs in industries such as temporary agency work or agency work with income in the minimum wage range
  • divorces
  • no work due to child rearing or housekeeping
  • HartzIV cover and increase
  • Illness and loss of work, disability pension with low average earnings
  • Debt, bankruptcy, high rents
Social benefits that can be claimed in addition to the pension

In our daily counseling practice, we often experience that people became unemployed after the political change and then experienced the social crash. This can be seen above all in the insurance history in the pension information or pension notification. Unemployment assistance and Hartz IV for a long time before retirement are the reason why very little pension comes out when applying for a pension. Then it has to be checked and calculated which social benefits are possible in addition to the pension. The pension consultants and specialist attorneys at say that these benefits are not alms or begging. They are entitled to those affected, without ifs and buts.

Social benefits if the pension is not enough:
  • Basic security in addition to the old-age pension
  • housing benefit
  • Care allowance and care benefits
  • Housing benefit in the event of disability
  • Personal disability related budget
  • GEZ-liberation

Advice on retirement

Eliminate ambiguity, get legally compliant information

– Answers to pension questions from the pension advisor
– Overview and guidelines for retirement
– legally compliant Information about pension

If the pension is not enough: basic security or Hartz-IV

All those who have reached the normal age limit or who have reached the age of 18 and are not able to secure their livelihood with their own assets are entitled to basic security in old age or when receiving a disability pension. There must be need.

It is not the job center that is responsible for basic security, but the respective city or municipality in which the needy live.

Anyone who applies for an early retirement pension before the normal retirement age will receive the "top-up benefits" from the job center until they reach the normal retirement pension.

The Unfairness Ordinance blocks compulsory retirement

With the new Inequality Ordinance, the job centers are prohibited from 01/01/2017 from making compulsory retirement if the person concerned would receive a pension that would be below the Hartz level. In this case, he does not have to apply for the pension. In return, he even has to apply for a pension if his discounts are still above the Hartz IV range.

For a single person with a low pension, the so-called standard requirement level 1 applies. This standard requirement is € 409 in 2017. For married people with a pension, the standard requirement for 2017 is 368 euros per month. In addition there are the applicable costs of the accommodation. The costs of the accommodation are a perennial favorite in the legal dispute, because here each city / municipality provides differently applicable costs.

If someone is dependent on special help due to illness or disability, they can still apply for an increased need for basic security, e.g. for special nutrition due to a special illness and the therapy carried out, on a doctor’s order, of course.

Housing allowance if the pension is insufficient

Alternatively, people with low pensions can apply for housing benefits that have a higher pension income than the basic security level. But here too there are upper income limits. The housing allowance office does not check whether the apartment size is appropriate. In contrast, the social welfare office checks the appropriateness of the apartment size.

There is a burden allowance for property owners / home owners with low pension income.

The application for housing benefit is made to the respective city or municipality in which the pensioner concerned lives. Approximately 45% of all those entitled to housing benefit are households in which pensioners live.

The housing allowance is granted on request for a maximum of 12 calendar months. The prerequisite is need. The amount of the housing benefit depends on the size of the household, the rent index of the place of residence and income (total income for spouse couples?)

If the claimant has no additional income in addition to his pension, housing benefit up to a gross monthly pension of € 956 can be applied for. This limit applies especially in areas with high rent levels. In rural areas, the gross income limit is approx. € 867.

The housing benefit claim is subject to an individual approach. Therefore, the claim must be calculated and checked carefully. The entitlement to housing benefit

Disability and housing benefit

Severely disabled people who are entitled to housing allowance can even have higher retirement incomes than people without disabilities.

€ 125 or € 1,500 a year can be deducted from income for a disabled person with a degree of disability of 100, Section 17 Housing Benefit Act. There are also other options for discontinuation if a disability meets a level of care.

Retired families who are still raising their own children can still be entitled to the education package if they are entitled to housing benefit. This is a subsidy for costs for day care or school trips up to a maximum of € 100 per year or for lunch.


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