Social Protection

The five pillars of social security.

The German social security system provides support in emergencies or transitional phases, ensuring participation and integration. It stands on five central pillars: Pension insurance, health insurance, long-term care insurance, unemployment insurance and casualty insurance. Other key elements of the social safety net are employment stimulation, labour legislation and childcare benefits, rehabilitation of people with disabilities, housing benefits and social welfare.

Social security in a changing society

Modern societies are characterized by constant change. The workplace of the future requires different solutions than the ageing industrial society. Digitization demands more flexibility at work, the energy transition creates new professions, qualification requirements increase and forms of employment change. The COVID-19 pandemic, the war in Ukraine and the return of inflation associated with it are causing uncertainty. At the same time, technological progress offers enormous opportunities to face the challenges of the future, especially those caused by demographic change.

To maintain their role of protection and risk mitigation, social security systems must be continuously adapted to the current conditions. The social and economic challenges involved are enormous: questions of financing, distribution, security and quality of supply and participation in society must be answered.

The future of social security in Germany

Political decisions regarding social security require vision and precision.

  • Is the German pension system generation-appropriate and adapted to the changing world of work?
  • How can social participation succeed in the face of high inflation?
  • How can the rising demand for care be financed in the future?

The answers to these and other questions will determine the future of social security in Germany.

Social Protection: A selection of our services

Social security model OCCUR

We quantify the financial requirements and examine options for reforming social security using the OCCUR social security model.

Microsimulation model

With our microsimulation model, we can identify support requirements and distribution effects.

Developing concepts

We develop and evaluate supply concepts and model projects in the context of our evaluations and expert assessments.

Strengthening organisations

We support social security institutions in the process of their organisational investigation and development processes.


As the social safety net in Germany is densely knit, we combine professional expertise from all of its subfields.

Our work on this topic

Take a look at our latest projects and activities.

The invisible value of care work

| Expertise

72 billion hours: That is how many unpaid care work hours are performed in Germany, annually, by women. In a new paper, we show the value of unpaid care work and how unevenly it is dis-tributed between men and women.

Regional purchasing power of pensions

| Project

Where in Germany is retirement particularly cheap and where has it become more expensive than average? Prognos examined this for the German Insurance Industry Association.

The economic and social situation of the creative professions

| Project

In a comprehensive study, Prognos analyses the social and economic situation of freelance and hybrid working creatives. The results will serve as a basis for targeted improvements.

Pension at 63 – Quo vadis?

| Project

Retiring at 63 is very popular. In 2021 alone, more than 270,000 people took the option of early retirement. These were the findings of our study for the INSM.

Inflation – extra burden and relief for family households

| Project

Calculations on inflation-related additional private household expenditure and the work of the Federal Government's relief package.

No generational conflict: Young and old are primarily looking for security.

| Project

Study compares “boomers” and Generation Z: high need for security for young and old alike.

The impact of corona testing on the economy and health care

| Project

Corona tests are designed to help reduce the incidence of infection. Prognos has now quantified the benefits of testing on the economy and health care.

40+x? Social contributions in focus

| Project

Due to demographic aging in Germany, social security contributions will rise to 46% by 2040. These were the findings of our calculations for the INSM.

Wage income developments 2025

| Project

If German economic productivity increases, not every individual benefits to the same extent. These are the results of our study commissioned by the Bertelsmann Stiftung.

Effects of the statutory minimum wage on pension development

| Project

Does the statutory minimum wage have an influence on pension development and individual pension entitlements? Prognos investigated this on behalf of the Minimum Wage Commission.

The change of long-term care

| Project

Prognos examined approaches to the further development of care professions and the prospects for the financing of the social long-term care insurance (SPV) up to the year 2050.

Care Perspective. Reorientation of the elderly care profession

| Project

The annual expenditure of social long-term care insurance will continue to increase in the coming decades according to the results of a Prognos study for the Bertelsmann Foundation.

Integration: Strengthen cooperation between districts, associated municipalities & cities

| Project

For the Robert Bosch Foundation, Prognos conducted a workshop with integration stakeholders from districts, municipalities, and cities.

Germany Report 2025|2035|2045

| Project

Germany will become more global, more digital, greener and older in the next 30 years. This is shown by Prognos Deutschland Report from 2018/2019.

Women & retirement provision

| Project

A stronger employment orientation for women can help to stabilise the public pension system – while also benefitting their own financial position in old age.

Calculation tool turns users into 'pension ministers'

| Project

What are the financial implications of possible changes in the pension system? With the virtual calculation tool ‘Pension Minister’ central levers of pension insurance can be operated.

A reliable intergenerational contract?

| Project

The Federal Government’s planned pension package would lead to significant additional expenditure on pension insurance and to permanent increases in pension contribution rates. These are the results of our study conducted on behalf of the INSM.

Future Family Report 2030

| Project

This expert report looks at various scenarios. It shows that continued development of family policy has a positive impact on the economy as a whole.

Pension Perspectives 2040

| Project

How high the pensions will be for a typical employee depends, among other things, on the occupation and the place of residence. This is the result of recent research by Prognos for GDV.

Do you have questions?

Your contact at Prognos

Dr Oliver Ehrentraut

Partner, Director, Head of Economics Division

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About us

Prognos – Providing Orientation.

Prognos is one of the oldest economic research centres in Europe. Founded at the University of Basel, Prognos experts have been conducting research for a wide range of clients from the public and private sectors since 1959 – politically independent, scientifically sound.

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