I am a national of one of the EU countries (not Germany), currently working at one of the German universities. As such, part of my salary goes to VBL, which is (if I understand correctly) an additional (in addition to the standard one) retirement fund for people working at universities.

VBL itself comes in two varieties: VBLklassik (default) and VBLextra (I can still opt for this one). VBLklassik has significantly higher guaranteed interest rate, but a pension can be paid only to someone who has been working for at least 60 months. VBLextra does not have this requirement.

I am unlikely to stay at the university for 60 months, so, according to VBL brochures, I should switch to VBLextra. However: does it really make sense? I know that I won't be entitled to VBL pension (which wouldn't be that high anyway), but I want to know if:

  • is it possible to transfer money, with accrued interest rate, from VBLklassik to the retirement fund of another EU country?
  • in case of money withdrawal from VBLklassik, do I get also the accrued interest rate? (in other words: can I just use this fund as savings account?)
  • what else should I know about this system?
  • I change "rent" to "a pension". (It's an easy mistake to make if you are fluent in German.) Oct 24, 2019 at 12:25

2 Answers 2


VBL is what is called a Betriebliche Altersversorgung of the Öffentlicher Dienst (Public service), so those basic rules apply

part of my salary goes to VBL

This is not quite correct

  • you will not find any reductions from your gross salary
    • The employer pays in the monthly contribution on top of the gross salary

I am unlikely to stay at the university for 60 months...

If you remain in the Öffentlicher Dienst the VBL contract will continue.

If you work at another firm that supports a Betriebliche Altersversorgung, then the VBL conditions will be transfered to the new one.

  • if this can be transfer to another EU Betriebliche Altersversorgung, I cannot say

To my knowledge (and it is slim) there is no transfer to the main Pension system (Deutsche Rentenversicherung).

Allthough payouts, when leaving, are possible, the conditions are based more on those of a Life Insurance than a Savings Account

  • to which a minimal amount of contributions are probely required

Try to work though the information found in the Wikipedia artical since the conditions are based on the Betriebsrentengesetz of 1974.


What Mark said is not entirely true. Part of your salary indeed goes to VBL, if you have VBLklassik.

This is how it works (data from 2021):

  • klassik: Total deduction is 7,86%, with 6,45% being paid by the employer and 1,41% by the employee.
  • extra: Total deduction is 4%, with all of it being paid by the employer

In practice, your net salary is higher with VBLextra. I know what I'm talking about, I had the klassik and then changed to extra, and the net salary increased. For people staying for relatively short periods (less than 5 years) in Germany, the extra is better, in my opinion.

If you check the salary calculator in Öffentlicher Dienst, the salary with VBLextra is equivalent to the one with "keine VBL" in the calculator, which supports what I just said.

  • VBL in not part of the Deutsche Rentenversicherung, so the statenment is still true. Aug 12, 2022 at 13:23

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.