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  1. I am a USA/German dual citizen and I lived and worked in Germany Between 2015 and 2019. I recently moved to the UK. Therefore I spent 4 years paying German state pension insurance through my employer.   I know that it takes a minimum of 5 years (20 months) of contributions to become vested in the pension system and since I am below that, I can request to have my contributions refunded, so I'm wondering if that makes sense for me.     1. Would I get the full reimbursement for my contributions? 2. Could I go back to Germany, work for one more year and become vested? 3. What determines how much someone receives after pension age?     Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
  2. Hi all, I am trying to find out if anyone has successfully gotten (for themselves or for a client, etc) a Daueraufenthalt-EU whereby they met the “Angemessene Altersversorgung” (Adequate pension plan) requirement without ever contributing to the German plan, but instead by showing assets > ~187,000€ (as listed here:   The reason I am asking is to  1) confirm that it is possible  2) better understand what type of assets/accounts are accepted for this (e.g. 401k, Roth, regular taxable accounts) - there were no details on that webpage 3) what kind of documentation is required    If you have any experience with this, please comment here (or send me a private message if you prefer).   PS: I have already searched the forums here but did not find anyone detailing such a specific scenario - the previous posts I found on this topic did not describe having substitute assets.  For reference @Starshollow had a very detailed and helpful response here about starting a German pension plan (whereas I am looking to avoid it altogether if possible):  
  3. Hello, I’ve got some questions below, and any help is very much appreciated. First a bit of context: I’m 53, moved to Germany last year with my German wife, and we’re considering retiring here. Given our savings situation it appears I’ll need to work for the next 15 years at least. Currently I have German state healthcare through my wife (nurse), and we want to hold on to that if we stay, obviously.  Not sure yet how I’ll be employed here; I’m still learning the language (close to B2, I suspect, goal of C2). In the US I’m a mental health counselor, though I don’t have the requirements for that work here. I could do online coaching/counseling with clients in the US, but I fear entering the self-employment market without being clear about the risks and benefits. Also considering other online work, making money from writing/teaching. I will need my US SS benefits and will want to increase them, if possible … which is one of my questions. Regarding taxes, I get that I’ll need to file in both countries. When I find employment here, taxes will be deducted. I will report that income to the US, but use the foreign earned income exclusion (same as “Foreign Tax Credit”?) to prevent being double-taxed, yes? This is a simpleton question, but it’s where I’m at 😊 I read that a 2018 legal change for self-employed persons means that I would need to pay less into the health insurance, so that now it’s only ~190 euro per month. But as I currently understand it, if I do teaching/counseling/writing/editing work, then I *WILL* have to pay into the state pension? And therefore, simply picking up a few clients won’t work, one would have to pick up at least enough at the outset to offset the (~500?) monthly euros that would have to be paid for health insurance + pension. ?? It appears that IF I am employed for less than 5 years in Germany, then I can get the pension contribution refunded, eventually. ? The corollary is that, if I am employed longer than that, then I cannot get it refunded – instead I get a pension. But do I receive that regardless of whether I live in the US or in Germany? Given that I don’t have much time to build up a pension here, it seems that, even if I pay into it for 15 years, the amount of pension will be quite small, and less than if I were to have paid into the US SS for those years. Is this true? Is there a way to pay into the US SS system and just avoid the German pension system altogether? Thank you very much for your help!
  4. Dear All,   Not sure if someone can help me. My divorce is currently ongoing with my ex and the Versorgungsausgleich is currently being done by the Rentenversicherung.   After submitted a couple of questionnaires I have now received a letter asking me to complete the form E207. Has anyone had any experience with this particular form in relation to previously having worked in the UK before coming to Germany?   They want me to send them for example the insurance number for Great Britain... as far as I know, this doesn't exist?   Link to the form:   Best, James      
  5. Hello Guys, I'm a non-EU resident in Germany for 5 years with a permanent residence (niederlassungserlaubnis 18b). Due to some family issues in my home country, i'm planning to spend 9 months abroad after my working contract is over, and i will be unemployed but  not registered at the "agentur für arbeit" as i will not be in Germany searching for a job. Based on that, i have a couple of questions: (1) Must i pay the pension insurance (rentenversicherung) or just i do not have to pay as i'm unemployed?. should i tell them that i will travel aborad or anything similar? (2) Regrading the Health insurance, I do not want to pay it as i will not use it at all, is there a way to avoid that other than to deregister from the city, maybe something to prove that i was not in Germany for a certain period of time?   Thanks in advance