9/10 rule - public health insurance through KVdR once you draw public DRV pension

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I can apply for my German pension soon, but I am not sure if I can be a pflichtmitglied in the health insurance (that should mean lower deductions). I am freiwillig versichert now. (That is not the same as privat versichert, fortunately).


You need to have been krankenversichert for 9/10 of the second half of your working life. Working life ends when you apply for a pension, but when does it begin? My Renteninfo shows contributions starting on my 17th birthday, is that the start?


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If you went to school and therefore weren't working, then no.

I think what you're seeing in the Renteninfo are the school periods starting with your 17th birthday that DRV gives you credit for: https://www.deutsche-rentenversicherung.de/KnappschaftBahnSee/DE/Aktuelles/Meldungen/2021/schule_studium_rente.html


When did you start working and paying social security contributions from your salary?

That is the start of your work life.


Please note that if you had a child/children (biological, adoptive, foster or step child), you "get" - per child - 3 years of public health insurance membership that count towards the 2nd half of your work life.

This applies to both mothers and fathers (so this is not about the 3 years of DRV public pension insurance entitlement that only the mother gets): 


Source: https://sozialversicherung-kompetent.de/krankenversicherung/versicherungsrecht/925-krankenversicherung-der-rentner.html#vorversicherungszeit

  • Framework period

    The period from the first taking up of gainful employment (this is any employment or self-employed activity aimed at earning a living or carried out for the purpose of vocational training - also abroad) until the application for a pension is referred to as the framework period.

    The framework period thus also begins with entry into a civil service relationship, into the Federal Volunteer Service, into voluntary military service, into employment under the Act on the Promotion of Youth Volunteer Services, into employment as a temporary soldier or as a professional soldier, or if a student completes a prescribed internship in return for remuneration.

    On the other hand, the qualifying period does not begin if basic military service or civilian service has begun, if employment which was exempt from health insurance because of its non-profit character has been taken up, or in the case of activity under the Development Aid Workers Act. Similarly, marginal employment and activities which are exempt from health insurance do not lead to the start of the framework period.

    If gainful employment was never taken up, the reference period begins:

    - On the day of marriage or on the day of registration of a civil partnership according to the Civil Partnership Act or
    - if no marriage/life partnership existed, upon reaching the age of 18. In the case of minor orphans, the framework period begins on the day of birth.
    Pension application on 15.03.2019
    First commencement of gainful employment on 01.09.1974
    In this case, the reference period runs from 01.09.1974 to 15.03.2019.

  • Eligible insurance periods

    All periods of compulsory insurance are counted towards the required pre-insurance period for KVdR within the second half of the qualifying period:

    - compulsory insurance
    - voluntary health insurance and
    - family insurance
    are taken into account.

  • Crediting of three years for each child

    Since 01.08.2017, according to § 5 (2) sentence 3 SGB V, a period of three years is also credited to the required pre-insurance period for each child, stepchild or foster child. The improvements were implemented within the framework of the Heil- und Hilfsmittelversorgungsgesetz (HHVG); for more details, see also: Improvements in health insurance for pensioners. This regulation came into force on 01.08.2017 without a transitional or cut-off date regulation, so that it also applies to all cases in which the pension application was submitted before 01.08.2017.

    Regarding the lump-sum crediting of three years towards the pre-insurance period, it is irrelevant in which state the child was born and raised, whether the child was actually cared for/raised by the person concerned or whether employment was interrupted for the purpose of raising/caring for the child. The three years are also taken into account if another child was also brought up/cared for during these three years or if this time is also taken into account as membership time.

    With the Term Service and Provision Act (TSVG), which came into force on 11 May 2019, there was another change from 11 May 2019 regarding the crediting of three years for each child towards the pre-insurance period in the KVdR. A crediting no longer takes place if the parental status was established by way of adoption or (in the case of stepchildren) marriage only after the age limits relevant for family insurance. In addition, in the case of stepchildren, it is a prerequisite that the child was taken into the joint household with the member before reaching these age limits, so that a lump sum of three years can be counted towards the pre-insurance period.


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Thanks very much for the info. I think I can use the 9/10 rule, I spent more than half my working life in Germany and had health insurance nearly all that time.


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This brings up an interesting question, what happens to the family insured spouse once you reach retirement.


Normally if you are family insured and earn above the limit (around 500€) you have to pay for your own health insurance. Each year my krankenkasse sends me a form that I have to fil out, etc etc. 


Once my wife retires she will be  pflichtmitglied  (not sure if that is the correct term but she was  krankenversichert for 9/10 of the second half of her working life). but she has a German pension but I (for a variety of non relevant reasons) do not. I will be over the limit on income. I also will be retired living off investment income and non EU pension.




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