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Refund of VBL pension plan (public sector)

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Posted

If you are working in the public sector (that can include also scientists!), you might be compulsory insured by the VBL ("Versorgungsanstalt des Bundes und der Länder"), which is a kind of the governmental employee pension plan. However, I want to discuss here possibilities to refund contributions paid to VBLklassik (which is the compulsory part of VBL).

You are eligible to a refund, if:

-you have been insured in VBLklassik for b]less than 60 months

-you are currently not insured in VBL (if for example you leave the public sector)

-you are younger than 69 years old

-you don't belong to "Tarifgebiet Ost" (tariff area east)

If you belong to tariff area east, you have to pay 2% of your gross income into this pension plan, if you belong to tariff area west, you pay 1.41% and the employer 6.45%. Please notice that only the part the employee paid can be refunded! That means a refund is only reasonable if you are SURE that you won't work in the public sector for 5 years or more.

In order to apply for the refund, the form L203 has to be completed. You can download it under following link:

L203

Additional information can be found at:

Refund of VBL pension contributions

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Posted

you might also want to mention that many can get themselves exempted from the compulsory contribution during the first two month when starting the job, basically all who have a time-limited contract which is quite common (unfortunately) in academics.

cheerio

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Posted

Thanks Starshollow for the valuable addition!

To summarize: The possibility for the exemption, Starshollow talked about, applies for employees working in academics with time-limited contracts.

In order to get exempted from the compulsory insurance, an application has to be submitted to the employer within the first two months of employment. The employer has to found another insurance account, VBLextra.

In tariff area west, the employer pays 4% to this insurance, the employee doesn't need to do anything.

In tariff area east, however, employer and employee have to pay 2% of the gross income.

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Posted

I went to see a tax advisor yesterday and she brought my attention to VBLextra. I am opted out from VBLKlassic but have VBLextra. Do you have to have this? If so, can you get a refund after you finish?

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Posted

To my knowledge there is no refund possible with VBLextra since there is no minimum contribution time and any contributions result in a pension being paid. Apparently sometimes VBLextra will pay you out if the resulting pension isn't worth the administrative cost to them.

On a side note, VBLklassik usually pays slightly better than VBLextra, oddly enough - despite VBLextra being financed through capital assets.

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Posted

Here's a question from me regarding VBL, since the insurance legalese isn't exactly my kinda thing:

If i apply for Entgeldumwandlung for a VBLextra insurance, would this lower my taxable income?

Would the VBLextra contributions in an Entgeldumwandlung themselves be taxable or sozialversicherungspflichtig in any amount if the contribution is under 4% of the Beitragsbemessungsgrenze?

(state employee, west germany, VBLklassik insured)

My current VBLklassik contributions are sozialversicherungspflichtig, but not taxable, which is kinda outside the options VBL is explaining on its website; however i'm not even sure they mean that part and not whether the taxation applies only to the employer contribution ("Wenn der Arbeitgeber die Beiträge zur Zusatzversorgung ebenfalls steuer- und sozialabgabenfrei abführen kann, verringert sich die Möglichkeit des Arbeitnehmers, für die Entgeltumwandlung den Höchstbetrag von 2.688 Euro auszunutzen.").

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Posted

Googled a bit, and found these calculation examples, which explain your situation, the 2nd link is clearer:

  • http://www.vdek.com/arbeitgeber/Besprechungsergebnisse/be_beitrag/bb_23/index.htm
  • http://www.lbv.nrw.de/tarifbeschaeftigte/zusatzversorgung.php

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Posted

Hmm, if i understand that right my employer pays tax on VBLklassik Umlage portion he's paying (as my salary exceeds €862.22), which would mean that due to the above stated sentence regarding VBLextra, i'm entitled to a full VBLextra Entgeltumwandlung of max 2688 Euro pa?

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Posted

Hello, I'm about to leave Germany and I'm really confused about what I can and should do with my VBL pension. I've just finished a 2-year contract as an academic. When I started, my boss asked me if I wanted to build a pension in germany that I take out when I retire, or if I want the contributions to go into a savings account and take them with me when I leave. I asked to do the latter because as an academic I have to move countries a lot and it seemed easier to have complete closure with germany when I leave rather than have to deal with the administration in 36 years time, especially because my german is too poor to deal with the authorities.

But now when I ask my boss or the group secretary they are being very unhelpful. My boss said, "You don't want to take your pension out of germany because you will get less money than if you keep it here." I asked the group secretary who shrugged and said she didn't know and gave me the phone number of the university personnel. The personnel woman didn't speak english and I could only understand that she told me to phone the deutsche rentenversicherung and she used the phrase "ausgezahlt werden". Since my german is too crap to call them, I asked the secretary if she would call and ask. She did, and she told me simply "you don't have to do anything. They will pay your pension when you retire". I asked her, but don't they need my contact details seeing as I'm leaving the country? She said no, I don't need to do anything until I retire. So I am very confused:

1. Is it possible for me to remove the pension funds from germany (and if so, why are my employers being so deliberately unhelpful?)

2. If the answer to 1 is "yes", will I really lose money if I transfer the pension funds to another pension scheme in another country?

sorry for the essay, and thanks in advance for any enlightenment you may shed on the issue

edited to add

3. If the money stays in germany, who or what do I contact in 36 years time!?

4. Is deutsche rentenversicherung the same thing as VBL?

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Posted

I'm not exactly sure on what you're describing in the first paragraph. Does your pay slip show any deductions labeled "Zusatzversorgung" or similar during the time you worked there?

As for your point 4, no, VBL is not the same as DRV (Deutsche Rentenversicherung). DRV is the regular state pension insurance, VBL is a public add-on pension insurance agency.

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Posted

Hi Kato

Sorry for the late reply, have been relocating in the last few days and don't have much internet access. will get back to you once I've dug out the relevant papers. Yes I'm very confused about the whole pension thing. I am definitely registered with VBL because they sent me many papers but I don't know where the money is or how/when I can access it. Thanks for your help, will get back to you asap, greetings MT

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Posted

In the Uk where I last worked employers often offer a pension schem, ON TOP of the "state pension", the compulsory pension scheme from the government that every worker (private, public, self eployed) is automatically enrolled in.

Here in Germany my employer (academic) has enrolled in the VBLU pension scheme.

Is this VBLU scheme ON TOP on some kind of government pension scheme? Or is VBLU the only pension I will have?

Thanks,

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Posted

Panda you are great, thanks.

Alberto

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Posted

It's a private pension plan btw, and not related to VBL. The companies behind VBLU include most private German insurance holdings (Allianz, R+V, Ergo etc pp).

Just as caution: Things said above in this thread only apply to VBL, not VBLU.

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