What is the Sozialversicherungsnummer or Rentenversicherungsnummer?

What is the Sozialversicherungsnummer or Rentenversicherungsnummer?

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. If you never had a Versicherungsnummer, your employer can request one for you1.

If you are a privately insured freelancer, you might not have a Versicherungsnummer, because you possibly never contributed to the public pension fund1.

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?

With public health insurance

If you have public health insurance, you get a Versicherungsnummer from your health insurance company. You will get it 2 to 4 weeks after you apply for health insurance. To know your number, ask for a membership confirmation document (Mitgliedsbescheinigung) from your health insurer. That document contains your Sozialversicherungsnummer. You can usually do this online.

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

versicherungsnummer.png#asset:539:contentFullwidth2x

With Techniker Krankenkasse

If you are with TK, here's how you get your Versicherungsnummer:

  1. Log in to Meine TK
  2. Click on "Bescheinigungen"
  3. Click on "Allgemeine Versicherungsbescheinigung herunterladen"
  4. Click on "Bescheinigung herunterladen"
  5. In the downloaded document, look for your Rentenversicherungsnummer

With private health insurance

If you have private health insurance, and you never had public health insurance before, you probably don't have a Sozialversicherungsnummer yet1. You must request the number from the Deutsche Rentenversicherung1. This can take 2-3 months.