Calculate pension equalization: how does it work?

The calculation of the pension equalization in the event of a divorce was reformed in 2009 and thus significantly simplified. Find out here how the calculation of the pension equalization works and which information and documents are relevant for the family court.

After the application for divorce has been submitted, the competent family court sends both spouses a questionnaire on pension equalization, which is intended to regulate and equalize the future pension entitlements of both spouses. With this questionnaire, the spouses provide information about the entitlements and pension entitlements they acquired during the marriage. It is irrelevant whether the claims only exist in the future or whether individual services have already been obtained.

Period for calculating the pension equalization

The period that is decisive for the calculation of the pension equalization begins on the first day of the month of the marriage and ends on the last day of the month that precedes the delivery of the divorce application by the family court. Periods of separation count towards the marriage period. The new pension is also calculated from the time the application is submitted, even if it takes a few months to calculate the pension equalization. Additional payments may be expected for the period between the application and the decision.

Both spouses are legally obliged to provide truthful information to the court and to return the questionnaire via the lawyer. If one of the partners refuses to provide information, the other partner can sue under civil law. If the divorce proceedings are delayed due to the failure to submit the necessary documents, the court can also impose a penalty payment or imprisonment.

The further processing runs completely between the family court and the corresponding pension providers. The court obtains the necessary information about the amount of the pension entitlements directly from them. Tip: If you want to be sure that the pension provider’s calculation for the pension equalization is correct, you can have the information checked by a pension advisor.

Accelerate pension equalization?

Obtaining the information from the pension providers can take some time. As a rule, the divorce decree is issued no earlier than three months after filing the application. It is not possible to apply for a pension equalization before filing for divorce, but the account clarification application can be submitted to the pension provider in the year of separation . If both spouses have also provided all the information properly, the pension equalization proceedings can also be separated after three months if the application to the family court is the same. Then the divorce will take place quickly and later, when the calculation by the pension provider is available, a decision will be made on the pension equalization.

How are the specific compensation claims calculated?

After the entitlements of both spouses have been determined, they are evaluated individually and compared with each other. Then the so-called half-sharing principle applies, which states that pension entitlements are generally divided equally. This means that the partner who actually acquired more pension entitlements during the marriage must transfer half of the difference to the other partner. As a result, the pension of the person obliged to make up the compensation is reduced accordingly.

Before the reform, the entitlements from all systems were made comparable with the remuneration point system of the statutory pension insurance in a complicated procedure for the equalization of pensions. On this basis, a probable amount was then calculated that would be available to the beneficiary at the beginning of the pension; the pension equalization was processed exclusively via the statutory pension insurance. However, this often led to calculation-related distortions, for example when the dynamics of the individual insurance models differed. Since the reform in 2009, each pension is now divided independently in the corresponding insurance system. Thus, when calculating the equalization of pensions, in most cases there is a “back and forth equalization” between the spouses.

example 1

The husband has acquired pension entitlements of 200 euros. From this, the divorced wife receives her own entitlement to statutory pension insurance in the amount of 100 euros as part of the pension equalization. The wife, on the other hand, earned a pension of 450 euros in twelve years of marriage as a civil servant. From this, her divorced husband receives his own entitlement to civil servant pensions of 225 euros. After the division, both have a total supply of 325 euros.

example 2

During the marriage, the husband earned a company pension of 500 euros. His divorced wife is entitled to 250 euros as compensation. The wife, on the other hand, only earned a company pension of 100 euros due to a shorter career. In addition, however, she has private pension entitlements of 150 euros. The ex-husband is therefore entitled to a total of 125 euros in pension adjustments. After the division, both partners have pension entitlements of 375 euros.

Note: In the case of company and private pension schemes, the compensation value may depend on various factors such as age, gender and life expectancy. Splitting the entitlements in half is therefore not equivalent to the same pension amounts for both spouses. There may also be exceptions to the division, which should be discussed with the divorce attorney on a case-by-case basis.

Calculate pension equalization: What happens after the calculation?

After the pension equalization has been calculated, the respective pension provider divides existing contracts between the two spouses. This happens either as an internal or as an external division. You can find out exactly what the difference between the two procedures is and what else is important in relation to the pension equalization in our article “Pension equalization: the most important information” .

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