claim a half-orphan's pension or a full-orphan's pension Unfortunately this specification of service has not yet been completely translated.

Children who have lost one or both parents can apply for an orphan's pension.

The orphan's pension is divided into a half-orphan's pension and a full-orphan's pension. You will receive a half-orphan's pension if one of your parents is still alive and a full-orphan's pension if both parents have died.

The half-orphan's pension amounts to 10 percent, the full orphan's pension to 20 percent of the insured person's pension to which the deceased parent would have been entitled or which he or she already received.

In addition to both the full and the half-orphan's pension, you will receive a supplement based on the pension periods completed by the deceased parent or parents. If an orphan is entitled to several half-orphans' pensions, only the highest one will be paid.

If the parent or parents died before reaching a certain age, the orphan's pension is reduced. For deaths before 2012, this age limit was 63. From 2012 onwards, the age limit will be gradually increased from 63 to 65 by 31 December 2023.

Orphans' pensions are regularly paid until the orphan's 18th birthday. Under certain conditions, you can receive the orphan's pension until you reach the age of 27.

Since 01 July 2015, no income is taken into account for orphans' pensions.

Note: If you adopt an orphan who is already receiving an orphan's pension, he or she will continue to receive it. It will also continue to be paid unchanged if the orphan marries.

  • valid identity card or passport
  • Birth or parentage certificate of the child
  • Death certificate of the deceased parent
  • In the case of an application for an orphan's pension for an orphan of full age:
    • proof of school education or vocational training or
    • Proof of voluntary service.
  • in case of application by other persons:
    • Power of attorney or
    • Order of the court.

Forms: yes

Online procedure possible: yes

Written form required: yes

Personal appearance required: no

Related Links

  • Antrag auf Waisenrente bei der Deutschen Rentenversicherung zum Download
  • Online-Antrag für Waisenrente mit Registrierung
  • Zwischengespeicherten Online-Antrag für Waisenrente öffnen


Surviving children receive an orphan's pension from the pension insurance provider if the deceased parent or parents met the general waiting period of 5 years. This includes:

  • Contribution periods (compulsory and voluntary contributions),
  • substitute periods,
  • child-raising periods,
  • periods from pension equalisation and pension splitting between spouses,
  • periods of marginal employment with payment of contributions by the employer, and
  • supplements to earnings points for earnings from marginal employment exempted from compulsory insurance.

Entitled to an orphan's pension are

  • natural or adopted children of the deceased,
  • stepchildren and foster children who were taken into the household of the deceased, and
  • grandchildren and siblings who were included in the household of the deceased or were mainly maintained by him/her,

if they are

  • are under 18 years of age, or
  • are not yet 27 years old and:
    • are in education or vocational training of more than 20 hours per week,
    • are doing voluntary service, or
    • are unable to care for themselves because of a physical, mental or psychological disability.
  • An orphan's pension may also be paid for transitional periods of no more than four calendar months, for example between two training courses.
  • An extended orphan's pension entitlement may arise beyond the age of 27, for example as a result of prior completion of voluntary military service during the probationary period.


If an accident has occurred (e.g. an occupational accident), an orphan's pension can also be paid from the accident insurance. In this case, there are other requirements and calculation bases.

Related Links

  • § 48 Sechstes Buch Sozialgesetzbuch (SGB VI)

Related Links

  • Informationen zur Waisenrente auf der Internetseite der Deutschen Rentenversicherung
  • Informationen zu Fachbegriffen aus Rente und Rehabilitation auf der Internetseite der Deutschen Rentenversicherung

You can apply for orphan's pension in writing, in person or online:

Written application:

  • Download the application and enclosure form for the orphan's pension from the German Pension Insurance website. Fill it out completely and compile the required documents.
  • You can submit your completed and signed application with the required documents either:
    • send it by post to your pension insurance institution or
    • hand it in at one of the local advice centres.

Submitting your application online:

  • Go to the online portal of the German Pension Insurance. Log in there with your signature card, your identity card (if electronic proof of identity is activated) or your electronic residence permit.
  • Fill out the form and upload the necessary documents. Then submit your pension application online.

Submit your application in person at the counseling session:

  • Compile the documents you need to submit your application and make an appointment at a Deutsche Rentenversicherung information and advice centre.
  • During the consultation, your pension application will usually be recorded electronically and forwarded online.

Note: Your pension application can also be submitted for you by a person you trust. Please submit a corresponding power of attorney to your pension insurance institution. As long as the power of attorney is valid, your pension insurance institution will only contact your authorized person.

Responsible for the content
Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs (BMAS)

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