Rürup: No attachable surrender value? Yes, I do!

Rürup annuities or basic annuities are in principle not inheritable by contract, as agreed with the insurer, nor can they be properly terminated, lent or sold, nor pledged. This requirement for tax deduction results from § 10 I No. 2b EStG. Experts from “Wikipedia” think that the Rüruprente according to § 851c II ZPO represent seizure-protected assets – an advantage of the basic pension according to Wikipedia also in insolvency. In the same article, the tax-supported premium payment in the savings phase is presented as being seizure-protected in accordance with § 97 EStG, § 851 ZPO. A doctoral thesis in law, on the other hand, states more correctly that “§ 97 EStG is only applicable to the “retirement pension assets subsidized according to § 10a or section XI (EStG)” (Riester contracts).


Doctoral thesis leads to complete unseizability

In a new textbook, originally a legal doctorate, published by a publishing house for insurance experts, it is shown that, in contrast to the limited seizure-protected old-age provision according to § 851c ZPO, basic pension contracts are neither capital-forming nor do they have a surrender value, which is why they alone are not seizable in the savings phase.

The capital of the so-called seizure-protected pension scheme, on the other hand, is to be transferred under § 851c ZPO – in contrast to the basic pension agreement – but above the set limits in the event of seizure, for example to creditors and insolvency administrators. Thinking things through consistently to the end, one could claim that without a surrender value in a life insurance policy – as is supposedly the case with basic pension contracts – one could even protect arbitrarily high amounts – protected from creditors and insolvency administrators – as assets.


The doctoral thesis justifies this:

“As will be explained below, however, a seizure is ruled out simply because the Rüruprente is not a capital-forming pension instrument, with the consequence that the contractual partner is not entitled to a “surrender value” which the creditor could seize, neither in the savings phase nor in the payout phase.

For substantiation, reference is made to a “Munich Commentary on the Insurance Contract Act” (VVG). The insurance sales force could hardly have written it better to promote sales in its brochures to attract customers. Ultimately, this also follows the argumentation of the German Insurance Association on unlimited attachment protection for the basic pension during the savings period, which has written about currently on its website:

“The GDV also points out that the pension capital of the basic pension is protected against third-party access during the savings period. This means that neither the employment agencies nor the social security office or any creditors have access to the basic pension. Only the later pension can be seized above the exemption limits.”

Surrender values also exist without ordinary termination

Even if ordinary termination has been contractually excluded, the actuarial situation is in itself exactly the same as for any other capital-forming life insurance, and the non-payment of a surrender value in the case of both types of contract on termination does not mean that it does not exist and does not have to be transferred in the event of attachment. The insurer will treat the ordinary, i.e. contractually excluded, termination as a termination of the contract – i.e. do not expect any further payments for the time being.

On the other hand, the creditor can terminate after an attachment, the insolvency administrator must proceed as in the case of an extraordinary termination or termination without notice – with the surrender value, possibly with the limited protection of the attachment-protected retirement provision in accordance with the German Banking Act. § 851c ZPO with transfer of the excess amount.

For comparison, any pension insurance, but without death benefit, can be used according to the type of basic pension, in any amount, and thus without a payable surrender value (RKW). The allegedly non-existent RKW does exist, however, because according to the VVG it is decisive for the non-contributory benefit, e.g. when the contract is shut down, and this is also shown. Presumably PhD students in insurance and authors of Wikipedia have never held such an insurance policy in their hands and had to replace “not knowing with being able to write about everything”?


Rüruprente or basic pension shows surrender value

Here from an insurance certificate illustrating the surrender value for a basic pension:

Current surrender values:

guaranteed performance* 5,729 EUR

guaranteed profit participation* EUR 152

Total amount incl. Profit participation* 5,881 EUR

*Due to the regulations of the Retirement Income Act on the basic pension, there is no available credit balance for your contract. A payout is only possible in the form of a lifelong pension in accordance with the insurance conditions.

About 6,200 euros were paid in over three years. This then makes it possible to claim compensation later on from the liability insurance of the tax advisor or broker, or from the insurer who was happy to advise on this.

A further option is then to retrieve the money later in many cases, even if the Rürup contract had subsequently proved to be uneconomical, if one had been recruited to conclude the contract with a false assurance of attachment security, for example by contesting it on the grounds of malicious deception or as compensation for immoral damage to one’s own assets for old-age provision.

Due to the limitation periods for fault in consulting, it may be advisable to file a timely action for a declaratory judgment that intermediaries or insurers are liable for the loss of the basic pension claims acquired through contributions as a result of the attachment of capital during the savings phase.

Efforts to protect assets by means of a basic pension would otherwise later prove to be largely in vain, but certainly not in vain. However, there are still enough intermediaries and insurers who do not smell the roast and are happy to enter the liability trap by expressly confirming with firm conviction that the basic pension is completely unseizable to the policyholder or applicant. This means that the investor is then protected by the liability of the provider of the basic pension and of the intermediary or his liability insurance – as far as this is sufficient – even if the basic pension does not prove to be seizure-proof later before the pension begins.


by Dr. Johannes Fiala and Dipl.-Math. Peter A. Schramm


with friendly permission of www.experten.de

published on 02.05.2016

Link: http://www.experten.de/2016/05/02/ruerup-kein-pfaendbarer-rueckkaufswert-doch/


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Dr. Johannes Fiala Dr. Johannes Fiala

Dr. Johannes Fiala has been working for more than 25 years as a lawyer and attorney with his own law firm in Munich. He is intensively involved in real estate, financial law, tax and insurance law. The numerous stages of his professional career enable him to provide his clients with comprehensive advice and to act as a lawyer in the event of disputes.
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