Reclaiming payments into pension fund upon leaving Germany

131 posts in this topic

Hi folks,

 

Does anyone know how it works with dual citizenship? I am Australian with a British passport (my father) and have been working in Germany as an EU citizen. When I leave however (within 5 years), it will be to go back to Australia (or somewhere over that way) and not to the EU. 

 

From http://www.deutsche-rentenversicherung.de/Allgemein/en/Navigation/03_leistungen/03_beitragserstattung/beitragserstattung_node.html

 

The implications for EU, EEA, Swiss nationals and nationals from Contracting States are regulated by the provisions of Community law or the regulations of the particular Agreement.

 

It is not possible to make refunds to nationals of other states who are domiciled in a EU Member State because by residing in the particular EU Member State they are entitled to make voluntary contributions to social insurance in Germany. In case of habitual residence abroad outside the EU these insured persons are in principle entitled to receive a refund of their contributions after the completion of a waiting period of 24 months following their departure from Germany.

 

So the question is... according to Germany, am I British or Australian if I worked here as a British person but was born in and will reside in Australia?

 

It also mentions "Compulsory and voluntary contributions will be repaid to half of the original amount, top-up insurance contributions will be repaid in full." 

 

Earlier in this thread I read that voluntary contributions would be paid to half, but compulsory in full. Has this been updated to anyones knowledge or am I reading this wrong?

 

Many thanks,

 

Tom

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Hi all,

 

This matter has been on my mind for a little while, and I think I need to clear up uncertainty regarding my own status as to whether or not this is a matter I should consider next year, and in light of recent-ish developments (ie. Brexit). My 60 payments threshold should hit about May next year. If I were to leave back to the UK, and wait until 2 years after the leaving of EU, I wonder if I would qualify. The only problem seems to be than in the time between leaving, and the split going into effect, it seems like I would be viewed as "could make voluntary contributions", so eats into the 60 months. This is pretty disheartening since I calculate my total payments being in the range of €25-30k, which is something like I could put into the deposit of an apartment/house... Whereas the payments I would receive at retirement are truly awful.

 

I am also consulting with a Steurberater and the pension bureau over this. Seems like a very muddy circumstance now...

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when you say " leaving back to the UK" I take it that you have lived in the UK before you came to Germany, right? Did you also work there and pay into the UK national pension system before you came to Germany? Because any months you have already contributed in another EU-memberstate are counted towards those "60 months"..therefore I assume that you long time already ways beyond the 60 months threshold.

 

Plus: the eligibility to get your own (only your own share, mind you) of the compulsory public pension contributions paid back after two years of absence from Germany is only available if you move to a country outside the EU or with whom Germany has no bilateral contract about mutual recognition of social welfare contributions. The UK obviously is right now still an EU-memberstate and does not fall in this requirement. And regardless of what nonsense is going to happen further during Brexit, it is near to 100% certainty that UK will have such mutual recognition contract either with the entire EU or with all of the EU memberstates individually.  So, no luck there either in the future. 

 

Cheerio

 

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

 

Thanks for the input. And good points made. I was working in the UK prior to arriving, so it certainly would seem that if it's really based on an "EU pension" basis, then you are correct. And yes, also about pension reciprocity. No doubt that is probably a certainty due to the number of UK pensioners in Spain for example.

 

So certainly doesn't look very good! *sigh* I'll look forward to my meagre couple of Euros (Deutschmarks?) when I retire then, and be more serious about my other saving options.

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People should remember that premiums they pay into the state pension fund are not used to pay their pensions, but the pensions of the current retirees. They also buy you the entitlement that once you are a retiree, those that pay premiums, pay for you.

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@Gwaptiva, yes I'm quite aware of how it's intended to work. But considering the demographic shifts that we can expect to continue at least until I/we retire, it's all the more reason to want to take any opportunity to avoid such a doubtfully feasible system; the money definitely doesn't grow, it isn't invested, and in a country with a below-replacement level birth rate you have to ask who's going to be footing that bill in 30 or so years...

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Like the 12 years of pension eliglibility I built up in the UK, which'll net me about 3.50 a year by the time I get to retire... which'll cost 4.25 to transfer here. At the moment though, the only thing with a better ROI than state pension is the 3.20 at Chepstow...

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Despite many opinions on what is possible and what not: 

 

Here are some facts. 

Europeans: 

You cannot claim a refund if you worked for less or more than 5 years in Germany AS LONG AS YOU RESIDE IN THE EU OR A CONTRACTING STATE (google what that is).

BUT: If you reside (e.g. for work, studies or even really settle down for life) in a NON-Contracting state (e.g. Russia, Emirates, China and all other states that do not have bilateral pension agreements with Germany) YOU CAN GET A FULL REFUND of your obligatory contributions. Not matter how long you worked in Germany. For example, a friend of my, British guy, just got 27k Euros back. Now he works in Dubai. So he could apply. In England, of course, he couldn't. 

 

Non-Europeans: 

Similar for you guys. Only that (no matter if there are bilateral agreements or not where you currently reside) you can always claim a refund of contributions made for less than 60 month. 

If you made contributions for more than 60 months and have qualified for future German pension payments, you can only get a refund, if you currently reside in a Non-contracting state. 

 

Please google for Deutsche Rentenversicherung contracting states (all the others are non-contracting. 

 

And yes, you have to have left your last German occupation (not Germany) 24 months ago for the waiting period to start counting. And once you have left Europe, Switzerland and the European Economic Area you can start to apply for a refund (after those 24 months. If you are eligible depends on where you reside and everything mentioned above. 

 

So - also Europeans can get refunds. And also you can get refunds after having worked for more than 5 years, it all depends on where you reside now. Maybe you consider moving to a non-contracting state for a couple of months to be able to apply for a refund if the amount of the refund qualifies for the time spent abroad. 

I know an Indian guy who moved from India to Russia and got a visa as a language student at the university in Moscow and rented a room there only to apply for his refund. In his case (he had worked in Germany for 17 years) the refund amount was around 190k Euros – money worth for him to spend a couple of months in Russia to buy some real estate back home in Calcutta later. 

 

Feel free to ask questions. I am an expert when it comes to refunds. 

 

 

 

 

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On 13. November 2017 um 19:39:50, Gwaptiva said:

Like the 12 years of pension eliglibility I built up in the UK, which'll net me about 3.50 a year by the time I get to retire...

Boy, you can't even buy a Weißbier in Munich for that.

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3 hours ago, Theo Matsiridis said:

If you made contributions for more than 60 months and have qualified for future German pension payments, you can only get a refund, if you currently reside in a Non-contracting state. 

I doubt this is true, could you please post some official link about this? 

Does not matter, if you are European or non-European, if you have contributed more than 60 months you can get refunds under special circumstances only.

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On 9/13/2019, 6:25:13, DreamLight said:

I doubt this is true, could you please post some official link about this? 

Does not matter, if you are European or non-European, if you have contributed more than 60 months you can get refunds under special circumstances only.

Dear DreamLight, 

 

eligibility for refunds is defined by German law, specifically the German Social Code (Sozialgesetzbuch) § 210 Abs. 1 Nr. 1 SGB VI. https://www.sozialgesetzbuch-sgb.de/sgbvi/210.html Here is a paper published by the Deutsche Rentenversicherung itself (Starting from page 56): https://www.deutsche-rentenversicherung.de/SharedDocs/Downloads/DE/Fachliteratur_Kommentare_Gesetzestexte/Studientexte/Versicherungsrecht/09_beitragserstattung.pdf;jsessionid=8B2164BC0492EC98B5DC2EEFFA2D1799.delivery1-9-replication?__blob=publicationFile&v=1

 

Eligibility has nothing to do with the period of contribution or citizenship. This is what the law defines: 

The provision of Section 210 (1) No. 1 SGB VI grants insured persons a right to reimbursement if they are

1) not subject to compulsory insurance and

2) have no right to voluntary insurance

Both requirements must be fulfilled at the same time.

 

The first requirement is fulfilled, once a person is not living in Germany anymore. 

The second requirement is fulfilled, once a person is not living within the EU or a contracting-state, because otherwise the person is given the right to voluntarily keep paying into the German Pension Scheme. 

 

What you mentioned as ”special circumstances” is exactly the case, when both requirements are fulfilled

 

BTW, this is not my opinion, but German law. 

I am a professional working in this field for the past 12 years, and we have been able to successfully claim hundreds of refunds for both, Europeans, Non-Europeans despite their contribution periods of 60 months and much more as our daily business. (Germanypensionrefund.com)

 

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