Living in Austria For Members

How many years do I have to work in Austria to be entitled to a pension?

Hayley Maguire
Hayley Maguire - [email protected]
How many years do I have to work in Austria to be entitled to a pension?
It's important to know the pension rules in Austria for future financial security. (Photo by Towfiqu Barbhuiya / Unsplash)

When working in another country it’s important to know your rights – especially when it comes to financial security. Here’s how the Austrian pension system works.


Whether retirement is coming into view or still many years away in the future, it doesn’t hurt to educate yourself on how the system operates in Austria. 

After all, if you’re paying social insurance then a percentage of that money goes towards your future pension. So it makes sense to know how it will work for you once you stop working.

FOR MEMBERS: EXPLAINED: How does the Austrian pension system work?

But what if you haven’t spent your entire working life in Austria? Are you still entitled to a pension? 

Here’s what you need to know.

What is the pension age in Austria?

The current pension age in Austria is 60 for a woman and 65 for a man. But the pension age for women will increase to 65 between 2024 and 2033 by raising the entitlement age by six months every year.

Additionally, you can increase your pension pot by deferring retirement past the standard pension age. This will result in a bonus of 4.2 percent for each year deferred.

How many years do I have to work to get a pension?

People have to work and/or pay into social insurance for 15 years (180 months) within the previous 30 years to be eligible for a pension in Austria.

However, at least seven years of social insurance contributions must come from employment. There are some exceptions to this rule, such as caring for a family member

READ MORE: Five things you need to know about the Austrian pension system

Likewise, periods when public funds are used to make insurance contributions are also taken into account when calculating eligibility. This includes child-raising (up to four years per child), military service, maternity leave and unemployment or sickness if benefits are claimed.

Early retirement is possible, as long as you have contributed for 15 years, but pension payments will be smaller until the standard retirement age.


What if I have also worked in other countries?

For many international residents, Austria might not be the only country where they have lived and worked overseas. This can make the issue of pension entitlement confusing.

Thankfully, there are agreements in place so that some people can use qualifying years in other countries to be eligible for a pension in Austria.

According to EU law, all pensions earned in EU countries are taken into account and retained until a person reaches pensionable age. The country where a pension is then claimed starts the process of cross-national pension entitlement, but you have to notify the pension provider of contributions made in another country.


Austria also has similar agreements with several other countries, including Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Norway, UK, US, Australia, Canada, Turkey, Serbia and Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Useful links

European Commission: Austria - old-age pensions and benefits

Austrian Federal Government

Rights to pensions in more than one country



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