Statements in Insurance Industry No. 15

Re: VW 13/2013, Company & Markets, Health

In about 90 pension schemes, also called Versorgungskammer, chambered professionals regularly become compulsory members. Their entitlements to funded pensions have already fallen sharply compared with earlier commitments and will have to fall further if interest rates remain low. It would be a mistake to rely solely on the pensions still promised today – it will then often no longer be enough to maintain the standard of living.
So the chamber professional will have to make additional provisions with capital investments, real estate or private pensions.

This is irrespective of the good prospect that the entry age for drawing the old-age pension will continue to rise. In 1889, Imperial Chancellor Otto von Bismarck and Kaiser Wilhe1m II had provided for pensions to be paid from the age of 70 – on average, this meant that life expectancy had already been significantly exceeded. The focus was on family and self-sufficiency – in the case of the invalid soldier, for example, also in the form of a barrel organ provided at state expense.

Former self-employed people have complained for years that the cost of private health insurance already consumes almost most of their pension income, or even more than it. At the same time, disproportionate premium increases in old age are almost inevitably prescribed by law according to the Calculation Ordinance. The low interest rates on the capital markets, which have been politically desired for years, contribute to the increase in the cost of private health insurance premiums.

Self-employed persons, especially those working in chambers, even if they have a mini-job and receive a partial pension, regularly have the option of taking out voluntary insurance with the German Pension Insurance Association (DRV). This may already be necessary for reasons of risk diversification. also ensure a statutory pension (GRV). If there is no entitlement to a statutory pension, there can also be no compulsory insurance in the pensioners’ health insurance scheme (KVdR), because this is purely an event of the DRV.

However, professionals in chambers are commonly advised that only the system of private health insurance working with capital cover and via chambers of provision is “the yellow of the egg”. The fact that, for example, professional pension funds are not treated equally and do not qualify for KVdR was confirmed by a decision of the Federal Constitutional Court (BVerfG) of 15 March 2000 (Ref. 1 BvL 19/96 et al.) with subsequent effect from I April 2002.
All the facts assessed there had one thing in common:

Only a pension from the statutory pension insurance is the basis for access to compulsory insurance in the KVdR. This is also regulated by § 5 SGB V, para. I, para. 12 “Persons subject to compulsory insurance are ( … ), persons who fulfil the conditions for entitlement to a pension from the statutory pension insurance and have applied for this pension, ( … )”. The only option for access to the KVJ R would be to have a pension entitlement in addition to the occupational pension (possibly from the time before the start of the obligation to pay contributions to the pension fund) or to build this up in good time. In this case, there would be a “pension reference” for the KVdR.

Otherwise, instead of private health insurance, the only option is voluntary statutory health insurance (GKV).
Those who, as pensioners, can only continue their GKV membership on a voluntary basis must pay the full rate for GKV contributions, including nursing care insurance, on all taxable income, including capital income and rental income. Only in the case of the statutory pension is there a subsidy (possibly on application) for the payment of the GKV and PKV.

In the KVdK, on the other hand, only the statutory pensions from Germany and abroad as well as the pension from the pension chamber together with any income as a self-employed person would be subject to contributions. The privilege of the KVdR is that, for example, no rental income or capital income is subject to contributions. But by exemption from the GKV obligation one is voluntarily insured and not in the KVdR. An earlier exemption, e.g. due to falling below the compulsory insurance threshold in the GKV or an earlier receipt of a pension, also has this effect, i.e. permanently prevents the KVdR.


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

by courtesy of (Issue 15)

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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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