Information about Nordrheinische Ärzteversorgung (North Rhenish Pension Fund for Physicians)

 

 

I. What is Nordrheinische Ärzteversorgung (North Rhenish Pension Fund for Physicians)?

NORDRHEINISCHE ÄRZTEVERSORGUNG is an institution of Ärztekammer Nordrhein (North Rhine Medical Council), a corporation under public law. It is subject to supervision by the Ministry of Finance of the federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia.

Statutory basis for NORDRHEINISCHE ÄRZTEVERSORGUNG is the Medical Care Act (Heilberufsgesetz) for the federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia.

Benefits are calculated on the basis of actuarial principles according to the “open funding plan procedure” (offenes Deckungsplanverfahren); this means that the contributions are aggregated for the later benefits.

Important for all employed physicians:
NORDRHEINISCHE ÄRZTEVERSORGUNG takes the place of statutory pension insurance and offers you benefits which are tailored precisely to the medical profession.

Until now, almost all employed physicians with compulsory insurance have applied for exemption from statutory pension insurance. You can be exempted from statutory pension insurance in accordance with section 6 (1) sentence 1 No. 1 Social Code VI (Sozialgesetzbuch) in favour of NORDRHEINISCHE ÄRZTEVERSORGUNG in order to benefit from the advantages. The requirement for exemption from statutory pension insurance is always that a medical profession is practised.

IMPORTANT:

According to the judgment of the Federal Social-Security Court (Bundessozialgericht) of 31.10.2012 - case ref. (AZ): B 12 R 3/11 R - exemption from the duty to insure under statutory pension insurance in accordance with section 6 (1) Sentence 1 No. 1 SGB VI covers only the relevant employment relationship and the work specifically performed.
 
For this reason, if you take up new employment, you must make a - new - application for exemption from the duty to insure under statutory pension insurance. According to the aforementioned judgment, this also applies to a change of position within an employment relationship, i.e. if a new position is taken up with the same employer but it differs from the position for which exemption was originally applied for. This applies always if there is a “major” change in the area of work. This is then affirmed in every case where medical work is no longer performed.

The decision on exemption is always made by Deutsche Rentenversicherung Bund (Federal German Pension Insurance), so that NORDRHEINISCHE ÄRZTEVERSORGUNG is unable to give binding information on the ability of a type of work to be exempted.

We forward your application with the required mark of confirmation immediately to statutory pension insurance. It will then issue you with a corresponding notice of exemption

  • with backdated effect to the start of the relevant employment relationship, if the application for exemption is received by NORDRHEINISCHE ÄRZTEVERSORGUNG within 3 months of the commencement of this employment, or
  • from the date of receipt of the application for exemption by NORDRHEINISCHE ÄRZTEVERSORGUNG, if the above 3-month period has expired.

Contributions which were paid to the statutory pension insurance fund before the date of exemption cannot be transferred to NORDRHEINISCHE ÄRZTEVERSORGUNG. If contribution periods are shorter than 60 calendar months, it may be possible to receive a refund of the employee share on written application.

An application for refund can be made 2 years after the cessation of the insurance obligation at the earliest. The sum refunded by the statutory pension insurance can be paid into NORDRHEINISCHE  ÄRZTEVERSORGUNG within six months of being disbursed.

Accordingly, exemption from the statutory pension insurance in favour of NORDRHEINISCHE ÄRZTEVERSORGUNG is possible.

 

II. Who can become a member of the Nordrheinische Ärzteversorgung?

Members of the pension scheme are all members of North Rhine Medical Council (Ärztekammer Nordrhein) who are compulsory members of the same and perform a medical profession within the territory of this Medical Council.

If you were previously a member of another professional pension scheme, you can have the contributions paid to that scheme transferred to NORDRHEINISCHE ÄRZTEVERSORGUNG provided that there is a transfer agreement with the pension scheme responsible for transfer (under the existing transfer agreements, the number of transferable contribution months is limited to 96). For the contributions transferred, you receive pension benefits in the same amount as if you had paid those contributions during the relevant periods to us instead of to the previous pension scheme. If you would like to have the previously paid contributions transferred, please return the enclosed transfer application (Überleitungsantrag) so that we can take all further action required. The transfer application must be made within 6 months of taking up employment within the territory of North Rhine Medical Council.

Exemptions from membership:

  • Exempted from membership are civil servants or employees entitled to retirement pension and survivors’ pension under civil-service law provisions, medical officers who are fixed-term military personnel or regular soldiers and - on the merits - physicians who had already reached the age of 45 years on 31.12.2004 and who were not yet members of NORDRHEINISCHE ÄRZTEVERSORGUNG at that time.

Complete or partial exemption can be given upon written application and submission of the relevant verification to:

physicians who

  • became members of North Rhine Medical Council before 31.12.2004 and who are members of another public-law insurance scheme or pension scheme of their professional group outside the territory of North Rhine under an obligation prescribed by statute or an obligation based on statute and who continue their membership, if they pay contributions there at least equal to the pension contributions payable to NORDRHEINISCHE ÄRZTEVERSORGUNG (Article 6 (5) a) of the Articles of Association (Satzung)), or
  • are civil servants on probation or with a limited appointment (Article 6 (5) e) of the “Satzung” or
  • do no medical work (Article 6 (5) f) of the “Satzung”).

 

III. What benefits does Nordrheinische Ärzteversorgung pay?

 

  • Old-age pension
  • Occupational disability pension
  • Survivor’s pension
  • Death benefit
  • Lump-sum for widows/widowers
  • Support of rehabilitation measures
  • Income-replacement benefits

 

The major advantages and features of our benefits are:

Flexible old-age pension

Old-age pension is paid no matter whether you continue to work or dispose of other pension rights or other assets.

Statutory pension age is 67 years. Transitional arrangements apply for those born before 1970.

The Articles (Satzung) allow old-age pension to be claimed prematurely on reaching the age of 62 years. If you were member of a German professional pension scheme before 01.01.2012, the eligible age is 60 years instead of 62 years. In the event of claiming pension prematurely, entitlement is reduced. The reduction depends on the date of the claim and the pension contributions actually paid up until that date.

Every member can waive receipt of the pension on reaching statutory pension age for a maximum of 3 years provided that contributions are not in arrears. By postponing the date of drawing old-age pension, the pension benefits are raised by an actuarial supplement. Contributions can no longer be paid after reaching statutory pension age.

No waiting periods

In contrast to statutory pension insurance, our members have full insurance cover immediately after payment of the first contribution.

Fair contributions

Each member receives the benefit corresponding to his/her contributions. The higher the pension contributions and the earlier membership commenced, the higher your pension will be on your entitlement; accordingly, benefits and consideration are in reasonable proportion to each other

Maternity protection and parental leave

Maternity protection and parental leave as periods without insurance contributions can be given special consideration for the calculation of pension.

Basic amount

The so-called basic amount is paid as additional pension component without any special contributions have to be paid therefor.

Higher insurance independent of age

NORDRHEINISCHE ÄRZTEVERSORGUNG grants every insured, without regard to age and without health examination, the possibility of raising the ongoing pension contributions up to the maximum contribution amount without imposing any special actuarial deductions. In contrast to many other pension providers, we take account of the fact that many insured persons are only able to pay the maximum contribution after achieving professional advancement - and therefore normally at a higher age.

Since the pension scheme came into being, the pension assessment basis has constantly increased and is today many times higher than the original value.

NORDRHEINISCHE ÄRZTEVERSORGUNG, as a large and effective pension scheme, is also equipped to meet the challenges of the future. Due consideration has already been given in full to the longer life span of members resulting from population changes by building up capital accordingly. As a result, NORDRHEINISCHE ÄRZTEVERSORGUNG has achieved a high degree of reliability for the future.

Occupational disability and survivors’ pensions

Occupational disability insurance is available to members as soon as they pay their first contribution. By adding back contribution years and a personal “basic amount” up to the age of 62 years, members immediately receive a high level of pension protection; in which case the latter is increased by a child supplement of 12% if occupational disability pension is drawn. A member who becomes occupationally disabled after reaching the age of 62 years is financially protected by being able to claim old-age pension (prematurely).

The add-back period also influences the survivors’ pension in the event that the member dies before reaching pension age because these are calculated from the member’s claim to occupational disability pension (excluding any child supplements).

Pension amounts are:

  • 60% for the pension for widows/widowers or for the survivors of registered life partnerships
  • 15% for the half-orphan’s pension
  • 30% for the full-orphan’s pension

of the pension expectancy right or pension entitlement of the member. In contrast to statutory pension insurance, income is not taken into account against survivors’ pensions.

Note:

In contrast to the statutory pension insurance, NORDRHEINISCHE ÄRZTEVERSORGUNG does not pay any contribution towards health insurance when pension is drawn. This disadvantage is, however, normally compensated for by the fact that pensions of NORDRHEINISCHE ÄRZTEVERSORGUNG paid for the same amount of contributions are normally higher than in statutory pension insurance.

On the death of the member, Nordrheinische Ärzteversorgung pays a death benefit in the amount of up to 2 monthly pensions.

In the event of remarriage, the widow/widower or the surviving registered life partner receives a lump-sum payment as compensation for the loss of the survivors’ pension.

NORDRHEINISCHE ÄRZTEVERSORGUNG supports measures for the preservation, improvement or restoration of ability to work by subsidising rehabilitation measures and granting income-replacement payments.

 

IV. How high are the pension contributions?

 

Employed physicians

  1. a) who are exempted from statutory pension insurance in favour of NORDRHEINISCHE ÄRZTEVERSORGUNG pay pension contributions to NORDRHEINISCHE ÄRZTEVERSORGUNG in the amount of the contributions to statutory pension insurance.
  2. b) who have not exempted themselves from the statutory pension insurance in favour of NORDRHEINISCHE ÄRZTEVERSORGUNG and civil servants with limited appointments or on probation:          pay 3/10 of the compulsory insurance contribution which applies to them.

Setting up private practice within the territory of Ärztekammer Nordrhein for the first time

Physicians setting up private practice within the territory of Ärztekammer Nordrhein for the first time may, upon application, pay a reduced contribution in the amount of 3/10 of the average pension contribution (minimum contribution) until the end of the next year after establishing their practice.

Physicians in private practice

  1. a) who use the North Rhine Association of Statutory Health Insurance Physicians (Kassenärztliche Vereinigung Nordrhein) for billing, pay:
  • the relevant applicable maximum contribution or
  • the relevant applicable compulsory contribution or
  • 7 per cent of the association transactions taking account of the maximum contribution, however, a minimum of 3/10 of the average contribution.

The contributions are forwarded by the relevant clearing office of the Kassenärztliche Vereinigung Nordrhein.

Please complete and sign the form and return it to us.

  1. b) who do not use the Kassenärztliche Vereinigung Nordrhein for billing, pay:
  • the relevant applicable maximum contribution or
  • the relevant applicable compulsory contribution
  • or 14 per cent of the income from medical practice of the penultimate financial year if the compulsory contribution is not reached. In this event, verification of income must be submitted.

 

You will find the amount of the current contributions under the heading “Wissenswertes - Auf einen Blick” (Good to know - at a glance).

Additional pension contributions (Article 24 of Satzung)

Every member can increase their pension contributions in the financial year (financial year = calendar year) up to the relevant maximum applicable contribution. Additional pension contributions cannot be made for financial years ended.

 

V. When are the pension contributions payable?

 

The pension contributions are payable monthly by each member without necessitating a request by the last day of each month at the latest - for example by using a direct-debit procedure (Lastschriftverfahren).

Employed physicians may have the pension contributions forwarded by their employer on the same date.

Physicians in private practice with a health insurance fund licence (Kassenzulassung) may have the pension contributions forwarded via the Kassenärztliche Vereinigung on the same date.

In the event of pension entitlement arising, only the pension contributions received by NORDRHEINISCHE ÄRZTEVERSORGUNG by this date are taken into account when calculating pension.

 

VI. What happens to the contributions when compulsory membership ceases?

 

Compulsory membership can be extinguished by moving out of the territory of North Rhine Medical Council, being accepted as a civil servant for life or by being exempted after making an application.

In these cases, benefits will be paid on principle on the basis of the actual contributions paid. This means that no contributions are lost.

In certain cases - in particular in the event of moving to another country and exemption upon application (possible, for example, for civil servants on probation or with a limited appointment) - the following possibilities exist if certain conditions are met.

  • Continuation of membership on a voluntary basis with continued payment of pension contributions
  • Transfer of the contributions to the pension scheme of the medical council in the new territory if, and provided that, a corresponding transfer agreement has been made with the other pension scheme and the relevant preconditions are met:

-  the number of monthly contributions able to be transferred is limited to 96

-  the applicant may not have reached the age of 50 years at the beginning of membership

-  the deadline for application is 6 months after taking up employment in the territory of the new medical council.