Joint Programming Initiative

More Years, Better Lives

The Potential and Challenges of Demographic Change

Sample of insured persons and their insurance accounts (VKST)
Versicherungskontenstichprobe (VKST)

Social Systems and Welfare
Relevance for this Topic
Country Germany
More Topics


Contact information

Michael Stegmann
Forschungsdatenzentrum der Rentenversicherung (FDZ-RV)
Berner Straße 1
97084 Würzburg
Phone: +49 0931 6002-73519
Fax: +49 0931 6002-73203
Email: Michael.Stegmann(at)

Timeliness, transparency

No survey, data set is based on process-produced data.

Type of data


Type of Study

Longitude survey: long-term study of the same sample

Data gathering method


Access to data

Datasets are made available by the Research Data Centre. • Scientific Use Files (SUF) are available only for recognized, independent, scientific institutions • Public-Use-Files (PUF) are available for teaching purposes • Remote Data Processing is available for registered data users with SPSS- and STATA-files ( • On-site workplaces for guest scientists (more data with less reduced characteristics than SUFs

Conditions of access

SUF available after signing a research contract.

depending on individual case

anonymised microdata

Scientific Use Files: SPSS, STATA

Data is only available in German.


Data collection ongoing since 2002 (2003 is excluded). Year N (Scientific use file) 2002 57,832 2004 58,611 2005 59,457 2006 60,304 2007 60,821 2008 61,410 2009 61,894 2010 62,705

SUF available since 2002, panel base for all waves: stratified random sample from 1983 with disproportional selection probabilities

sex, nationality, insurance branch of the current account holder, age cohort

panel base for all waves: stratified random sample from 1983 with disproportional selection probabilities

Germany, no regional information

Sample: Insured persons aged 15 to 67 years, SUF: only Germans living in Germany and aged 30 to 67 years

Information based on pension insurance accounts about: • socio-demographic items (age, sex, children born, profession. etc.) • insurance history - times of employment, unemployment, education, military and community service, illness, child-raising periods, self-employment subject to social insurance, non-professional long-term caring (since 1995), minor employment (since 1999) • entitlements from the pension insurance (earning points)

• Deutsche Rentenversicherung Bund (Ed.). Die Versicherungskontenstichprobe als Scientific Use File. Workshop des Forschungsdatenzentrums der Rentenversicherung (FDZ-RV) am 30. und 31. Oktober 2007 in Würzburg. DRV-Schriften. Band 79. Berlin, 2008. • Müller, Tanja. Strukturen geringfügiger Beschäftigung im Scientific Use File der Versicherungskontenstichprobe 2005. In: Deutsche Rentenversicherung Bund (Hrsg.), Fünf Jahre FDZ-RV. Bericht zum fünften Workshop des Forschungsdatenzentrums der Rentenversicherung (FDZ-RV) am 17. und 18. Juli 2008 im Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin für Sozialforschung (WZB), (DRV-Schriften, 55), Berlin, (2008): 176-191.


Linkage by data user not possible

Data quality

No information

No information

No information


The Sample of Pension Insurance Accounts deals with pension entitlements of insured people. Detailed information on times relevant to pension insurance is available in the data set. The data set contains process-produced longitudinal data, so employment histories can be analysed without facing the usual problems of longitudinal surveys in social sciences – such as panel mortality or memory errors. The data set contains more validated information on details of the employment history than respondents normally remember. The sample is very large, so that detailed analyses are possible. The panel has been built since 1983, so it contains a great deal of information on social change. Information on topics other than occupation is mostly missing. There is only some information on education and qualification, but this is incomplete because these data are reported by employers voluntarily. Information on children born is only included for women, not for men. Households and couples cannot be identified. Data in this data set are selective – periods of employment as civil servants or independent entrepreneurs are not recorded. Data for employment periods in minor jobs are only recorded if they were registered by the minor employed. There is information missing on occupation periods of people who immigrated to Germany or who moved abroad from Germany. That means that nearly all people in Germany have a pension insurance account, but many of these contain large gaps without information on the occupation. Unclear accounts are the reason for another type of missing data. Data are not easy to handle as there is a lot of information in the data set that cannot be analysed and interpreted without knowledge of the German pension law.

  • The information about this dataset was compiled by the author:
  • Andreas Motel-Klingebiel
  • (see Partners)