What is the Sozialversicherungsnummer or Rentenversicherungsnummer?

What is the Sozialversicherungsnummer or Rentenversicherungsnummer?

Here is how you obtain your Sozialversicherungsnummer, Versicherungsnummer, Rentenversicherungsnummer or RNVR, the number you must give your employer to get paid.

The Sozialversicherungsnummer, Versicherungsnummer, Rentenversicherungsnummer or RNVR is the German pension insurance number. It's the unique number the german public pension scheme (the Deutsche Rentenversicherung) uses to identify you.

Instead of a single social insurance number, Germany has different identification numbers for health insurance (Krankenversicherung) and pension insurance (Rentenversicherung). This is due to data protection laws1. However, the pension insurance number is often called a social insurance number (Sozialversicherungsnummer)1.

Your employer must have your social insurance number before it can pay you, since they contribute into the public pension scheme in your name. You must have this number before you get paid.

What does the Versicherungsnummer look like?

The German social insurance number has this format: 12 123456 A 1231.

It is divided in 4 parts. The first part is the area number. The second part is your birth date. If you are born on September 23, 1992, it would be "230992". The third part is the first letter of your last name. If your name is John Smith, it would be "S". The fourth part is used to differentiate you from people with the same name and birth date1.

How do I get my Versicherungsnummer?

You get a Versicherungsnummer from your health insurance company. You will get a Versicherungsnummer 2 to 4 weeks after applying for health insurance. To know your number, request a membership confirmation document (Mitgliedsbescheinigung) from your health insurer. You can usually do this online. That document will contain your Sozialversicherungsnummer.

You will also receive a letter from the public pension fund that contains your Versicherungsnummer. This document is called the Sozialversicherungsausweis. Here is a picture of it1: