Austria - Old-age pensions and benefits
This chapter provides information about the benefits you can receive in Austria when you reach the retirement age.
- Standard old-age pension;
- Early retirement pension.
In what situation can I claim?
You may be entitled to old-age benefits if you reach the required age and if you have completed the necessary number of insurance periods. In principle, the standard old-age pension and various forms of early retirement pension are available.
The standard old-age pension (Altersrente) is a continuous cash payment intended to provide financial security in old age, i.e. at the end of normal working life. Currently, the pensionable age in Austria is 60 for women and 65 for men.
Early retirement pension (vorzeitige Altersrente) is a continuous cash payment provided before the normal retirement age.
What conditions do I need to meet?
Standard old-age pension
In order to be entitled to the standard old-age pension, you have to complete a certain minimum pension insurance period in Austria.
Persons who had not reached the age of 50 and had no insurance period by 1 January 2005 have to complete 180 months of insurance, at least 84 of which must be accumulated on the grounds of an occupational activity. Persons who reached the age of 50 by 1 January 2005 have to complete 180 months of insurance over the past 360 calendar months, or 180 months of contributions or 300 months of insurance cover without any reference period.
Persons who had not reached the age of 50 by 1 January 2005, but had accumulated at least one month of insurance, will benefit from the most favourable arrangement.
Certain periods for which publicly funded contributions are paid are also recognised as contribution periods. These include: child-raising periods (Kindererziehungszeiten) for a maximum of four years per child (5 years for twins), periods of military or war service and assimilated periods (e.g. civilian service), periods of maternity leave when maternity benefit (Wochengeld) is received, and periods when unemployment benefit (Arbeitslosengeld) or sickness cash benefit (Krankengeld) is received.
Early retirement pensions
You can claim corridor pension, when you have completed your 62nd year. You can only retire, if you have accumulated the corresponding numbers of months of contributions depending on the reference date (480 months of contributions or 40 years of contributions
In fact, this applies only to men because of women’s lower retirement age.
Heavy-labour pension applies to insured persons who have contributed in at least 120 months of heavy work (10 years) within the last 240 calendar months (20 years) before the reference date. You can claim it, when you have completed your 60th year and have accumulated at least 540 months of contributions (45 years).
Moreover, there are other forms of early retirement pension for persons born in certain years, but these are being phased out and are now of only minor importance.
If a person starts work again, early retirement pensions will be suspended.
Both the standard old-age pension and the early retirement pension are taxed.
What am I entitled to and how can I claim?
Standard old-age pension
The amount of the standard old-age pension is calculated taking into account the claimant’s age, length of insurance and the amount of contributions paid by the claimant. For persons below the age of 50 at 1 January 2005, a benefit-defined pension account system based on current-income financing (“pay-as-you-go”) is in force.
Under this system, pension entitlements acquired are calculated each year. The basis for calculation is the average income in a calendar year, subject to a ceiling (maximum contribution basis). For each calendar year, 1.78% of this amount is credited to the pension account.
For persons who had reached the age of 50 by 1 January 2005, the legislation applicable by the end of 2004 still applies. The pension calculation basis is the average income of the 26 best insurance years. This period will be gradually increased to 40 years of insurance by 2028. For each insurance year, 1.78% of the calculation basis is credited to the pension account.
Pensions from 1 January 2004 onwards may be no more than 5% lower than the comparable pension at 31 December 2003. This figure will be gradually increased to 10% by 2024.
Pension is paid in 14 annual instalments. Your April and October pension instalments include a supplement.
Early retirement pension
If you take early retirement, your pension is reduced by 4.2% a year. The reduction for corridor pension is 5.1% and, for heavy labour pension, 1.8%. However, your pension is reduced by not more than 15% (15.3% for the corridor pension). If retirement is deferred, the pension will be increased by 4.2% per calendar year, up to a maximum increase of 12.6%.
As of 1 January 2022, you will receive an early starter bonus (Frühstarterbonus) on your pension if you have acquired at least 25 contribution years based on gainful employment and at least 12 of these months of gainful employment before your 20th birthday. This special allowance amounts to EUR 1 for each contribution month due to gainful employment before the age of 20 ("early starter bonus") and is limited to a maximum of EUR 60.
If your monthly pension(s), along with other income, is/are below certain reference levels, a compensation supplement is paid to the level of the difference between your income and the reference level. Other income includes income from a spouse living in the same household. This supplement may be increased in case of dependent children. If you are in need of care, long-term care benefit may also be provided.
As a rule, pension is paid on application only.
If you have completed insurance periods through pension schemes in other EU or EEA Member States, you do not need to claim your pension in each state separately. You only need to indicate, when making your application in Austria, that you have also completed foreign insurance periods. Your insurance provider will then contact the competent office in the country concerned and initiate an inter-state pension approval process.
Whenever you have to fulfil certain conditions before being able to claim an Austrian social security benefit, the authorities will also take into account any insurance periods you have completed in other countries. This applies to EU Member States and to Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Iceland and the United Kingdom*. No insurance period you have completed in Austria will be affected if you work or are insured in one of these countries.
* Each case needs to be assessed individually to determine whether a person falls within the scope of Art 30 of the Withdrawal Agreement, and so the EU Coordination Regulations apply, or whether they fall within the scope of situations described in Art 32 of the Withdrawal Agreement and/or come under domestic legislation and the Protocol on Social Security Coordination attached to the Trade and Cooperation Agreement.
Compensatory supplement - A compensatory supplement is a cash benefit paid in addition to calculated pension that makes up a total amount equivalent to minimum income. The compensatory supplement itself is the difference between the individual pension, other creditable net income and the reference levels for the compensatory supplement, which is adjusted each year in a regulation issued by the Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs and Consumer Protection. You have to be permanently resident in Austria in order to receive the compensatory supplement.
Pension approval process - Anyone who has completed pension insurance periods in more than one Member State is often confronted with the problem of having to claim pension in each country separately. In each EU and EEA Member state, pension insurance periods and contributions will be maintained until the claimant reaches the retirement age laid down by the laws of that state. The principle of aggregation of insurance periods applies. Each State takes these periods and any relevant periods completed within its own system into account. Each State also verifies that the aggregated insurance periods are sufficient for entitlement to pension under its legislation. If entitlement does exist under these conditions, each of the States pays a separate pension, only taking into account the periods completed within its own system.
Habitual residence - the terms ‘permanent residence’ and ‘habitual residence’ are defined under EU law. Please see the EU Regulation on the coordination of social security systems. In practice, it means the place where you have your centre of interests.
Forms you may need to fill in
As a rule, pensions are paid on application only. This application should preferably be submitted to the competent pension insurance fund, using an appropriate form. However, it may also be submitted at any sickness insurance fund or local authority. Applications without specific form will also be evaluated. Late applications will incur a cost.
Online forms to be filled in:
- Application for the standard old-age pension
- Application for the corridor pension
- Application for the heavy labour pension
- Application for the recording of insurance periods
- Application for supplementation of insurance periods
- Application for verification of entitlement to an old-age benefit
- Application for calculation of insurance and heavy labour periods and verification of entitlement
- Application for the compensatory supplement
A list of harmonised EU forms for the transfer of social security entitlements between the Member States. The form for Austria is available from AMS.
Know your rights
The links below set out your rights in law. However, they are not official European Commission sites and do not represent the view of the Commission:
- Pension entitlements in more than one Member State
- How your pension is calculated
- Paying tax on pensions
- Pension Insurance Institution information materials
- Information for expatriate pensioners, available in various languages
- Information about the new pension account, available in various languages
Whom do you need to contact?
Federal Ministry of Social Affairs, Health, Care and Consumer Protection
T: +43 1711000
Umbrella Association of Social Security Institutions
T: +43 71132-0
Pension Insurance Institution, Main Office
T: +43 50303
Pension Insurance Institution offices