Civil servants can not only become unfit for work, they can also become unfit for work. This small but subtle difference in definition may mean that civil servants are not entitled to a BU pension despite having taken out occupational disability insurance. Crucial for the receipt of the service is the so-called invalidity clause.
Difference between disability and invalidity
Invalidity exists when a public servant (for example, a full-time secondary school teacher) can no longer work at civil service level and no alternative activity at civil service level is considered. He is incapacitated for work only if he can no longer pursue his profession in the private sector (for example, as a private school teacher).
Another difference is in who provides the proof of the benefit claim in the insurance. The presence of occupational disability must be attested by a doctor . However, if the employee is incapacitated, only the employer decides and issues a corresponding certificate.
State protection for disabled employees of civil servants: invalidity pension
Non-civil servants receive a statutory reduced earning capacity pension from the state, regardless of whether they are less well-off or even no longer fit for work. Condition for the receipt of these state benefits is that at least five years in the statutory pension insurance was paid. Even then, non-civil servants can hardly expect more than 30 percent of their former gross salary.
Similar to non-civil servants, civil servants also receive a pension from the state in the case of illness or accidental inability to continue serving: the retirement pension. The prerequisite is that they are no longer in the probationary period, but have the status of ‘civil servants’ . Even civil servants for life will receive the pension only if they have worked at least five years in civil service . However, if they are civil servants for less than five years and still unable to work, they are only entitled to the state disability pension. Civil servants who do not qualify for a retirement pension should therefore secure themselves privately, for example in the form of occupational disability insurance.
Occupational disability insurance for civil servants: what is considered ineligible?
The conditions for a civil servant to be recognized as ‘incapacitated’ and entitled to a state pension are defined in the Federal Civil Service Law, paragraph 44 (1). Accordingly, either
- the officer was unable to serve for more than three months within six months. Presumably, he will not be fully operational again in the future.
- the current physical condition or health reasons make the fulfillment of official duties permanently impossible in the future .
Another condition is that he can not perform any activity other than his previous job at civil service level.
Does the invalidity pension provide civil servants with adequate protection?
The level of the invalidity pension depends in particular on the status of the civil servant and the number of years in civil service . Depending on when the official is made redundant for life, the invalidity pension can be very small and lead to financial problems. In order to maintain the standard of living, civil servants are therefore advised to conclude an invalidity insurance or an invalidity insurance with an invalidity clause as an additional safeguard.
Occupational disability insurance for civil servants: Only with invalidity clause!
Officials should be aware that a regular disability insurance only covers incapacity for work but not invalidity. In order for a civil servant to be entitled to a BU pension in the event of his occupational disability insurance, he must have already agreed a civil servant clause at the time of conclusion of the contract. The invalidity clause is intended to allow insured state employees to recognize their invalidity as occupational disability and thus to receive their disability insurance benefits.
- The real invalidity clause
However, when taking out occupational disability insurance, officials should ensure that the invalidity clause agreed with the company is ‘genuine’ . The decisive factor is whether the insurance company refrains from checking the existence of invalidity itself and relies on the judgment of the medical officer or the employer. Optimal is the following wording:
For civil servants, retiring for general invalidity or dismissal for general invalidity is considered as occupational disability.
Here officials should take care to recognize both the transfer and the dismissal of the disability insurance. If it merely accepts a transfer of the official as invalidity, the protection by the disability insurance applies exclusively to civil servants. The official clause is then true, but incomplete .
- The false invalidity clause
Occupational disability insurance, which provides benefits to officials only if they are at least 50% incapable of practicing their profession for at least six months , and can not pursue any other activity commensurate with their current life, should be avoided at all costs. Corresponding civil servant clauses are called ‘fake’.
These conditions are the same as for a disability insurance for non-civil servants and do not take into account the special status of civil servants. For example, civil servants who have been made redundant after three months of invalidity can not receive benefits from their disability insurance because they have not met the minimum age of six months. Civil servants who are interested in occupational disability insurance should therefore seek advice from an expert in advance.
Disability insurance for civil servants = invalidity insurance?
Invalidity insurance is a special form of disability insurance that is only available to civil servants and is not offered by all insurance companies. It explicitly and exclusively insures against invalidity and not only against occupational disability.
Companies that do not offer special invalidity insurance can still have an equivalent occupational disability insurance with an official clause. Both types of insurance are often referred to synonymously as invalidity insurance.