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Record linkage between Socio-Economic Panel and administrative pension data — a combined dataset for life course research (SOEP-RV)

Completed Project

Project Management

Carsten Schröder

Project Period

March 1, 2018 - December 31, 2023

Funded by

Forschungsnetzwerk Alterssicherung

In Cooperation With

Research Data Centre of the German Pension Insurance (FDZ-RV)

This project is being carried out in cooperation with the Research Data Centre of the German Pension Insurance (FDZ-RV). It aims at linking survey data from the Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP) with individual administrative data from the German Pension Insurance. The administrative data contain monthly employment and pension histories on individuals in dependent employment starting at the age of 14.

DIW Team


Linking the two data sources enables us to both complete the SOEP biographical data and enrich the individual insurance biographies through the addition of numerous socioeconomic variables at the household and individual level. The linked dataset (SOEP-RV) will be made available to researchers for local use on their computer. We expect this dataset to be an outstanding tool for empirical research, particularly for questions about the life cycles of private households, individual decisions regarding employment and pensions, and the income and pension distribution.

The scientific use file SOEP-RV Pension Stocks (RTBN) is available for the years 2018 and 2020 as the special samples “SOEP-RV.RTBN2018” and “SOEP-RV.RTBN2020.” The sample consists of Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP) respondents who have agreed for their survey data to be linked with the anonymized pension insurance data. This allows detailed account information on pension entitlements as well as pension payments to be matched with SOEP sociodemographic data on financial well-being, etc., at both the individual and household levels.

The SOEP-RV.VSKT2020 dataset expands the available survey data on 14,494 SOEP respondents (as of June 2022) by linking their survey data with statistical data from the German Pension Insurance (DRV).

The codebook for this dataset and information on how to order it can be found on the Research Data Centre of the German Pension Insurance (FDZ-RV) website.