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Gesundheitswesen. 2019 May 17. doi: 10.1055/a-0883-5276. [Epub ahead of print]

[Return to Work after Temporary Disability Pension].

[Article in German; Abstract available in German from the publisher]

Author information

Institut für Rehabilitationsforschung (IfR) Norderney, Abteilung Münster, Münster.
Fakultät fur Gesundheitswissenschaften, AG 3 Epidemiologie und International Public Health, Universität Bielefeld, Bielefeld.
Abteilung Sozialmedizin, Deutsche Rentenversicherung Westfalen, Münster.


in English, German


In Germany, there are no statistics available that reveal how many temporary disability pensioners return to work. The aim of this study was to analyse how many persons to whom a temporary disability pension was granted in 2006 returned to work. Their socio-demographic, health-related and vocational characteristics were examined.


The scientific use file "Completed Rehabilitation 2006-2013 in the Course of Individual Pension Records" provided by the research data centre of the German Pension Fund was analysed. Return to Work was assumed if a person worked at least part-time for 183 to 365 days with not less than 8.50 euro/hour in one of the following seven years after being pensioned. The development of the cohort was assessed descriptively. Cox regression analyses were conducted to determine the influence of socio-demographic, health-related and vocational characteristics of the pensioners on their return to work.


Between 2007 and 2013, 5.9% of the initial cohort (N=9.789) returned to work; 25% of these returned to work in all seven years. Between 2006 and 2014, 10.6% of the initial cohort died, 9.1% shifted to old-age pension and 1.4% were granted an unlimited disability pension. Regression analysis indicates that sociodemographic, health-related and vocational characteristics are associated with the probability of return to work: Disability pensioners aged between 18 and 39 years, with a somatic disease, who went through medical rehabilitation or were employed before the disability pension had the highest probability of return to work.


The results show that only few persons with temporary disability pension returned to work. Therefore, it could be concluded that criteria for temporal limitations of pensions should be sharpened in order to reduce the amount of additional medical evaluations. On the other hand, new strategies to support pensioners' potential for return to work have to be considered.


Conflict of interest statement

Die Autoren geben an, dass kein Interessenkonflikt besteht.

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