In the first two years in which members start to practice as independent general dentists for the first time, they can reduce their compulsory contributions for their self-employed income to half of the standard compulsory rate on application irrespective of their income from dentistry (Art. 17 (1) AOA).
The VZWL AOA includes this option to allow for the fact that pension contributions can be a burden in particular when dentists first start practising as independent dentists.
However, please bear in mind that higher contributions will give rise to higher pension entitlements later on and that it will not be possible to make up for lower contributions for a calendar year at a later date.
During maternity leave, members will be required to pay a statutory pension contribution. On application, these contributions can be deferred for the period over which a member is on parental leave in accordance with the Parental Allowances and Parental Leave Act. Once parental leave has come to an end, members can then choose to pay the contributions they missed or not to pay them at all.
Members who are eligible for support with their pension contributions under social security, state aid or other legal regulations while they are unemployed, ill or because of an accident or because of their work as a carer or for a comparable reason, are required to pay contributions to the amount that the relevant service provider is required to pay for them in accordance with the relevant regulations.
Members who join the German military for a limited time will be exempt from the compulsory membership in the VZWL on written request. When leaving the military again, they will then be able to take out retroactive insurance with the VZWL in accordance with Art. 186 SGB VI. The application for retroactive insurance has to be submitted to the relevant military district administrative office within one year of leaving the military. This retroactive insurance option is also open to other public servants such as dentists working for universities or as civil servants in hospitals. In these cases, members will also have to submit their applications for retroactive insurance to the relevant HR department within a year.