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 pension system fair for all generations?
  • Does the shortage of skilled workers jeopardize climate policy goals?
  • 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.

Conception & evaluation

We develop and evaluate supply plans and pilot projects.


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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

Head of the economics division, Partner, Director

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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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