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A pensioner is a person who is no longer predominantly gainfully employed and who makes a living from a pension , i.e. a statutory or private insurance benefit. According to the Flexirentengesetz of 2017, a pension recipient can continue to work in addition to drawing an old-age pension and pay into the pension fund accordingly in order to improve the pension amount.

Privatiers [pʀiˈvaˈtjeː] who live on their accumulated assets are not considered pensioners.

A person who thrives on regular payments from invested capital, leasing property or lease of land, are called reindeer [rɛntjeː]. A reindeer can also receive a pension that is subordinate to the amount.


Instead of a pension, retirees receive a pension , which is usually a state benefit that is not based on previously paid contributions, but rather on pension entitlements related to the length of service. The practical differences lie primarily in the taxation of social security pensions on the one hand and civil servants' pensions on the other. In common parlance, there is no sharp distinction between the two. Widows, widowers and orphans - regardless of their age - are deemed to be pensioners from the time they are drawn from the German statutory pension insurance system .

The number of pensioners in Germany was 15.38 million in 1993 and 20.61 million on July 1, 2012. The average pension amount (including payments from survivors' pensions) was 998 euros for men and 739 euros for women on July 1, 2012. For women, a higher proportion of the pension comes from the survivor's pension.


In Austria one calls a retired since the 1970s as pensioners , the state pension as a pension . Until then, only civil servants' retirement benefits had been referred to as pensions. The word is not spoken in French ("Pen-sion" instead of "Pang-sion").


The term pensioner functions in German as a classic example of a palindrome - a word that can be read synonymously forwards and backwards.

See also

Web links

Wiktionary: Pensioners  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. ^ The social situation in Germany: Pensioners (RV). Federal Agency for Civic Education (bpb), April 16, 2014, accessed on April 2, 2017 .