🇩🇪 Pension & Retirement in Germany

Alastair Samson
Alastair Samson
  • Updated

Oyster policy is denoted in purple.


In Germany, every employer is obligated to make pension contributions through deferred compensation. These contributions flow directly into the pension contract without deduction of taxes or social security contributions. The full contribution rate to the statutory pension insurance is 18.6% of gross remuneration but no less than EUR 32,55. The company pension plan can take several different forms, including direct insurance, a direct pension fund, a support fund, or a direct commitment from the employer.

The employer is not obliged to assist financially in the establishment of the company pension scheme, unless a collective bargaining agreement stipulates such support. The employer is obliged to support the gross deferred compensation.

At Oyster, both employer and employee must contribute 9.3% of the employee’s base salary, up to the following ceilings:

  • EUR 7,300 per month (EUR 87,600 per year) — West Federal states and 
  • EUR 7,100 per month (EUR 85,200 per year) — East Federal states.


A majority of employers provide a supplemental plan, because the social security benefits are inadequate. Oyster does not currently provide access to a supplemental plan. 

As of 1 January 2018, it is possible to structure a company pension as a pure defined contribution scheme if an applicable collective bargaining agreement allows it. If there is no such collective bargaining agreement in place, then it remains that defined contribution schemes are only possible if the employer promises to pay a minimum amount of company pension. Under German law the employer is not required to offer employer-financed company pension schemes;  the employer can decide set it up voluntary

Even without the employer itself financing a company pension, the employee can claim a company pension by deferred compensation. In this case the employer must use a future salary of up to 4 percent of the income threshold for assessing contributions to the statutory pension insurance (€3,408 in 2021) to provide an employee-financed company pension. If the remuneration is converted via a direct insurance, a retirement fund or a pension fund, the employer must also pay an employer’s subsidy of up to 15 percent of the deferred compensation amount if and to the extent the employer saves social security contributions because of the remuneration conversion.

Oyster does not have a voluntary set-up company pension scheme in place which is proactively offered to all team members  as a benefit.

Oyster only provides for company pension if the employee claims it and is willing to contribute to it.


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