Reclaiming payments into pension fund upon leaving Germany

131 posts in this topic

 

And I'm confused about what I have to do before I leave Germany? I know I have to de-register with my local housing authority (can't think of the name, but do I have to meet with anyone else? Thanks!

 

You don't have to, but you can make an appointment at the DRV for a Kontoklärung. They will help you fill out any forms and answer your questions. You can only actually file the application after you have been out of Europe for more than 24 months.

 

You're thinking of the Bürgeramt and in Berlin you can make an online appointment to de-register.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

wow, thanks everyone for the replies. it seems a little less straightforward than i thought (no surprise i suppose). what i am not clear about is if i leave germany after 3 years and then spend 3 years in the UK, can i still claim back the 3 years fromm germany if i move to the US (after waiting 24 months to make the request)? or am i in essence paying in for a total of 6 years in the EU, regardless of member state, and hence past the 60 month limit to claim it now and not when i retire?

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

i am not clear about is if i leave germany after 3 years and then spend 3 years in the UK, can i still claim back the 3 years fromm germany if i move to the US (after waiting 24 months to make the request)? or am i in essence paying in for a total of 6 years in the EU, regardless of member state, and hence past the 60 month limit to claim it now and not when i retire?

 

All I know for certain is that you once you have made 60 contributions within the EU, you will qualify for a German pension when you reach retirement age.

 

I think (but am not sure) that you will not be able to apply for a contribution refund after you have made 60 contributions within the EU.

 

I would recommend you make an appointment and go to the DRV before you leave. They can answer you questions, give you advice, and help you fill out the forms.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, Engelchen's guess is right. You cannot claim your pension back, since the times you contributed to the pension fund are summed up among all countries of the EU. Since you reach 60 months, you will get a German pension. My previous statements were definitely wrong.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am in a similar situation. I am an American citizen who worked/contributed to a German pension less than 60 months. My 60-month clock deadline according to Germany is January 2012. Currently I am living/working in the UK but am not contributing to a pension. Does this time I am working & living in the UK count towards my 60 months? If not, I am guessing I must wait 2 years after I have left the UK to apply for a pension refund. Thoughts?

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Currently I am living/working in the UK but am not contributing to a pension.

 

your belief you're not contributing may be mistaken: if you work in the UK you are accumulating rights to a UK state pension, even if you've not noticed segregated pension contributions because it's funded out of general income and payroll taxes. now the question is whether these rights matter or not if you seek a German refund.

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have no idea how the pension system in the UK works, however, after you have over 60 months worth of contributions in a combination of the EU/EEA/CH you are eligible for a German pension (calculated only based on the German contributions) and, therefore, do not qualify for a refund.

2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Small note: For people, who are not citizens of EU/EEA/CH, the 60 month rule only applies for contributions paid inside of the EU (and not Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein, Switzerland).

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

AFAIK there is a bilateral agreement between Germany and US and you could not get the pension contributions back even if you left Germany/EU before the end of the 60 months.

 

Cheerio

I am a professional independent insurance broker, financial adviser, and authorised advertiser. Contact me.
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@Starshallow:

There is indeed a Social Security agreement between Germany and the USA. But that does not mean that a pension refund is not possible (see for example:Working in Germany and the USA from the DRV.

 

Due to this agreement, insurance times in the USA can count for the German pension fund too (in case the particular person has been less than 60 months insured in a national pension fund of an EU country) - so insurance times in the USA can be used to qualify for a German pension. But alternatively one could also opt for a refund (if some other conditions are meet). Whether a pension refund is issued or not depends NOT on the question whether the particular person qualifies for a pension or not. In many cases this is a choice - refund the contributions paid to the German pension fund OR getting a German pension later on.

 

Citizens of the USA cannot claim a pension refund, if they have been insured 60 month or more in the German pension fund (or any other EU country), not because of the reason that they qualify for a pension, but because they could (wherever they are living) be always voluntary insured in the German pension fund.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Citizens of the USA cannot claim a pension refund, if they have been insured 60 month or more in the German pension fund (or any other EU country), not because of the reason that they qualify for a pension, but because they could (wherever they are living) be always voluntary insured in the German pension fund.

 

Could you rephrase that last sentence there sloth, it has too many nots and buts.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

sloth: thanks - I know you are deep into this and appreciate the clarification. It has been not a real issue for any of my clients yet, hence a wee bit of superficial knowledge there on my side only :-)

 

Cheerio

I am a professional independent insurance broker, financial adviser, and authorised advertiser. Contact me.
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@Starshallow: No problem, you have formulated it as a guess anyway and it is always good to have an opportunity to discuss the matter.

 

@eean: OK :)

 

Citizens of the USA cannot claim a pension refund, if they have been insured 60 month or more in the German pension fund (or any other EU country).

 

The reason for this:

 

-they can always be voluntary insured in the German pension fund (this is a bit oversimplified but for this discussion here sufficient)

 

That by paying 60 months pension contributions one qualifies for a German pension is in this framework coincidence - and not the essential reason that a refund cannot be issued.

Example: Citizens of India, China, and other countries can indeed refund their pension contributions (after leaving EU) even they qualify for a pension later on (which could be payed to their home countries too!).

 

I hope it is a little bit more understandable now...

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi

I'm from non-EU country working a bit more than one year in Germany and planning to relocate to Norway.

Do you think I can get pension refund or I have to transfer paid amount to Norway?

 

Thank you for advice

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As citizen of Ukraine, you can in principal apply for a German pension refund while living in Norway.

Just keep in mind the 24 calendar months waiting period (if for instance, you leave Germany in September 2011, you cannot apply for the refund before October 2013). However, preparing the necessary forms in advance can safe you a lot of headache later on.

 

For further questions regarding the German pension refund, you can approach me at www.german-tax-back.com.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When a person works for less than 5 years, and gets a refund after 2 years, what happens after some time he decides to go back to work in Germany? You need/ can you start a pension contributions all over again?

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And remember: partial months count as a whole months towards that 60 month limit. This is something the translators of the German pension site have omitted but it is in the German version. I know someone who got screwed by this and the answer (and rightly so) is that the German version is the only version of the truth.

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

When a person works for less than 5 years, and gets a refund after 2 years, what happens after some time he decides to go back to work in Germany? You need/ can you start a pension contributions all over again?

 

I can confirm that as I experienced it like that myself. No big deal as I probably got a better return on investing the half of my contributions that I made than I will get in a payout from the government anyway.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

[adminmerge][/adminmerge]

Hi folks,

 

I've always been an incredibly impulsive, not-too-forward-thinking person, and so it's a bit characteristic of me that, upon my upcoming (July 26th) departure from Germany, I'd like to claim the 14 months of Rentenversicherung I've paid into the German system back. Es händelt sich um üngefähr 2800 Euro. I figure that, with that, I could lease a sweet car and not have to take out loans during grad school...

 

Could someone older and/or wiser inform me of the dumbness of my decision? Things I'm considering:

 

1. I'm aware that I can transfer these benefits into the American system eventually, if I decide not to live in Germany forever. Is that worth doing? Do I lose something if I do that? Won't Social Security break sooner or later anyway and transform America into an anarchistic free-for-all? Cost-benefit analysis anyone?

 

2. The website I found says that you can only yank out your Rentenversicherung if you don't plan on coming back for 2 years. By that I think they mean coming back and working, right? I'll be in grad school for the next 2 years anyway, but I do plan on leaving my boyfriend here / visiting him if necessary. Why would they not let tourists who have no social security in? That's dumb.

 

3. ... How?

 

Thanks very much. I've used the search function, but either I'm doing it badly or there really isn't much there on this topic.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now