Reclaiming payments into German pension after moving to the U.S.

83 posts in this topic

On ‎6‎/‎8‎/‎2018‎ ‎2‎:‎49‎:‎30‎, invisiman88 said:

For the second question, if you have contributed to or still contribute to any nation on the list of nations (which includes the US) then the answer must be "Yes." As I mentioned in my other post, I think this has more to do with determining "years of contribution" for the pensions in the agreement states, i.e. Social Security in the US. They allow you to use years spent contributing to state pensions in other countries as though it were paid to the US (or whichever country in which you live).

 

As mentioned, please always confirm with DRB; it's free and quick by email.

 

I don't think that this is the purpose of the question 6.1 because "years of contribution" would only be useful to get benefits in an agreement state before you have fulfilled the eligibility requirements to gain benefits. More details are available in my post above. It also would not make sense for Germany to get that info when you are asking for a refund as their obligation ends once you receive your refund.

 

I know from my German colleagues who have worked in the other EU countries can combine the pension contributions in different EU countries to receive one pension payment from Germany when they retire. It doesn't look like this question is for a similar purpose for the US either since you "invisiman88" did receive your refund in the US where you are contributing towards Social Security.

 

I think we do have two clear examples, (1) Question 6.1 being answered as "Yes" for US Social Security and then receiving the refund. (2) In my example, I marked this question as "No" and DRB had all other information that identified me as working in the US (which automatically means that one is contributing towards Social Security) and I did get a refund too. If someone has more knowledgeable information that can be referenced then please do post as it will help the community.

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Thanks a lot to @invisiman88 and @chrisv_7 for your help. I came to German Consulate in my country and all they needed was my husband's passport and they charged nothing.

 

I included details of the only job my husband had in Germany in section 5.2 before I get back here to read your answers. I am thinking to cross it out or make new V901 and get back to the consulate for certifying. The former sounds better as the latter will take much time.

 

Then hope they will see it ok.

 

Thanks again.

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I'm happy to report that I followed the steps given in this profile and received my pension refund from DRB. I am a US citizen who lived in Germany for 3 years. 

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OK, here is what I submitted and had success with zero issue.

 

- Form V0901 (including notarized by my local bank in the USA)

- My Abmeldebescheinigung showing the official date I permanently left Germany

- Sozialversigherungsausweis from Deutsche Rentenversicherung  showing my Versicherungsnummer

- Meldebescheinigung zur Sozialversicherung from my German employer for every year I was employed in Germany.

- Ausdruck der elektronischen Lohnsteuerbescheinigung for every year I worked in Germany (kinda like the USA W2, I believe also from my employer) showing all my wages earned, amount paid into Rentenversicherung etc.

 

Mailed everything from USA to

Deutsche Rentenversicherungs Bund

10704 Berlin

 

This was submitted mid to end of May 2018.

 

I got a letter from the Deutsche Rentenversicherung in July or early August notifying me that the USA and Germany have an agreement and I could elect to collect German social security later in life, or I could choose to get my money refunded.  I just had to check the box to elect that I want the money paid to me and NOT to receive it later in life, and mailed it back.

 

I got notice on September 14 via letter that everything was approved and the money will be transferred to my German bank account.  Verified and the money is in my account.

 

Hope this will help others in the future.

 

 

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For those of you who went to the German Consulate for help filling/submitting your forms, I have one question:

 

Did you need an appointment, or could you just walk in?

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Quote

I got a letter from the Deutsche Rentenversicherung in July or early August notifying me that the USA and Germany have an agreement and I could elect to collect German social security later in life, or I could choose to get my money refunded.  I just had to check the box to elect that I want the money paid to me and NOT to receive it later in life, and mailed it back.

 

This is extremely interesting - thank you. Common lore - and also a large number of info, threads and even essays about this topic point out that due to the German-US bilateral social security agreement no such refunds can be made. thanks for correcting this and giving a real-life example. That is going to help a lot of people!!!!

 

Cheerio

 

I am a professional independent insurance broker, financial adviser, and authorised advertiser. Contact me.
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Hey guys - thank you so much for this useful resource!

 

I'm tripping over one really simple thing before I post off my forms:

Versicherungsnummer - the space on the form can fit a 12 digit number - I have three numbers and I'm not sure which one to put in it:

  • I have my Gesundheitskarte with one number labelled Versicherung which is 9 digits long - which seems the obvious one - but it's not long enough.
  • I also have a Versichertennummer on my Gesundheitskarte which has one letter followed by 9 digits.
  • Then, I have a Rentenversicherungsnummer which I got in a letter from Techniker Krankenkasse as a proof of insurance letter, this is a jumble of 12 letters and numbers that seems to fit perfectly with the space on the form.

I feel really stupid - I feel like the Rentenversicherungsnummer is the one - but surely they would ask for your Rentenversicherungsnummer if that's what they wanted?! 

Can anyone put me out of my misery?

Thank you all so much again - this has been so useful. I will post my timeline once I have received my reimbursement (fingers crossed)

tyrsu

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2 hours ago, tyrsu836 said:

Can anyone put me out of my misery?

 

 

I figured it out!

I went diving through all of my documents and found my Sozialversicherungsausweis which had my Versicherungsnummer on it - it was exactly the same as my Rentenversicherungsnummer! 8 numbers, 1 letter, 3 more numbers.

 

Thanks!

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Just to add in my experience so far (still a work in progress): US citizen, worked in Munich 2009-2011.

 

I filled out the VO901 form and submitted *photocopies* of all the pertinent supporting documentation. I made an appointment at the consulate (San Francisco, CA), where they notarized everything for free.

 

After looking through the RVB website, I couldn't figure out which was the right address to send the forms to so I sent to what seemed to be the main one:

 

Deutsche Rentenversicherung Bund
10704 Berlin

 

After three weeks RVB finally replied to my earlier email inquiery about the address and told me I should have mailed it to:


Deutsche Rentenversicherung Bayern Süd
Thomas-Dehler-Str. 3
81737 München

 

...presumably because I had been working in Munich. They said Berlin would forward it to Munich.

 

After another 6 weeks I received a letter from RVB Sud (Munich) saying (I believe) that  refunds for Americans are actually handled by the RVB Nord office and that my forms be forwarded again to:


Deutsche Rentenversicherung Nord
Friedrich-Ebert-Damm 245
22159 Hamburg

 

Will keep you posted, but I guess moral of the story so far is be sure to send your forms to the right address.

 

 

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Follow up to my saga...

 

After an additional 6 weeks of trying to contact various entities of the RVB via email with status, I finally received a letter from RVB-Nord (Hamburg) which apparently manages the reclaim process for Americans.

 

The letter requested additional information that was not asked in the V0901 application:
- My US SSN and a signed declaration of consent allowing them to contact the US Social Security Administration to verify  claims (or lack thereof)

- "Certification of life and citizenship" - basically a notarized form confirming that I'm a US citizen. This was redundant as the V0901 required notarized copies of my passport as well.

 

Any other folks go through this process? Anyone able to find a reliable email address through which to communicate with RVB?

 

Stay tuned for the next dramatic chapter in our saga!

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On 4/6/2019, 10:46:38, sicherz said:

After an additional 6 weeks of trying to contact various entities of the RVB via email with status, I finally received a letter from RVB-Nord

 

Hallo Sicherz - did you ever have any response from the RVB via email? I sent away all my forms in January and have heard nothing - so have been emailing around trying to get a status update, but to no avail! If there was a particular address that was responsive - would you mind sharing it? I keep being forwarded around until I eventually get a "this mailbox does not exist"-type email.

 

Thanks!

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Alright my saga is complete so here are the details regarding my timeline:
 
January 8th 2019 I posted away my application to the address: Deutsche Rentenversicherung Bund, Ruhrstr. 2, 10709 Berlin, Germany
Forms submitted:
V0901
A1312-00
A9060
Certified copy of passport
Copy of Sozialversicherungsausweis
Proof of Insurance beginning from 2013
Copy of Gesundheitsharte
Copy of Lohnsteuerbescheinigung from 2013 to 2016
Copy of Bescheinigung zur Sozialversicherungen from 2013 t0 2016
Copy of my Abmeldung and Anmeldebestätigungen
Proof of employment from 2013 to 2016
(I don't think all of these are necessary - I was just in a 'better-safe-than-sorry' mood when I posted it away)
 
After 3 months with no response I sent a few emails away to the local consulate (unable to help) and to the various email addresses linked to the Rentenversicherung Bund asking for a status update - with either "we have forwarded your message onto the appropriate office" or no reply. I kept re-sending these emails periodically over the following 3 months with no response/a series of generic forwarding responses until I would eventually get a "this email account does not exist". Finally on June 28th 2019 I emailed both kundenservice at drv-berlin-brandenburg dot de and meinefrage at drv-bund dot de with an explanation of the date the application was posted, where it was posted to, the emails I had sent with no reply etc. and asked if there was a way to check on the status of the application or if I had sent it to the wrong place. I did not get a reply by email but did receive a letter by post ~8 days later (see below).
 
Received a response on the 6th of July 2019:
"You have filed a claim for reimbursement of your contributions.
Please note that a social security agreement has been concluded with USA. Under this agreement the insurance periods you have acquired in both states will be added together which may result in you being eligible for a pension when you have reached pension age.
Please inform us whether you still wish to have contributions reimbursed.
Please use the backpage of this letter for your reply."
 
"I have noted the above facts and still wish to have my contributions reimbursed."
"I hereby withdraw my claim for reimbursement of my contributions."
 
And posted back the reply on the 8th of July 2019 to: Deutsche Rentenversicherung, Nord, 22037 Hamburg
 
On 12th August, 2019:
I saw that the approximate equivalent (-~US$46/42€) of my retirement contributions were deposited into my US account in US$ and received a letter in the post the same day confirming my reimbursement.
 
For anyone interested I worked out how much I had contributed to see how the reimbursement compared (as I assume there were exchange fees or something taken out at some point) just to get an idea of how much you lose in the transfer
Retirement contributions were: 7352.78 € (~ 9.4 % of brutto salary)
Ultimately I received a reimbursement of US$ 8,197.41 which currently converts to approximately 7310.31 € which could well just have been a shift in the conversion rate between the money landing in my account and me realizing it was there - or it could have been a bank fee. 
 
It's still not clear to me what caused the six-month delay between posting the application and my first response - so I may have sent it to the wrong address? But I don't really know - that could just be how long it takes now!
 
Best of luck with your reimbursement! 
 
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I'm happy to report that my year long saga has finally come to a close.

 

5 months after sending the additional information requested in the letter I received early April 2019 to RVB-Nord (after many emails requesting status updates, several of them bouncing as un-deliverable, etc, like others had reported) asking for the following:

 

Quote

 

- My US SSN and a signed declaration of consent allowing them to contact the US Social Security Administration to verify  claims (or lack thereof)

- "Certification of life and citizenship" - basically a notarized form confirming that I'm a US citizen. This was redundant as the V0901 required notarized copies of my passport as well.

 

 

I received the exact same letter requesting the above information again. I had assumed that my initial letter had gotten lost in the ether somehow, and was about to prepare a second one (stupid of me for not sending with tracking or delivery confirmation the first time). I was heartbroken...

 

...but just one week later (9/11/19), I received a separate letter (entirely in German) from RVB finally showing the balance owed and stating it would be transferred to my bank account soon!

 

The very next day I confirmed that that exact amount had been transferred to my Euro account!

 

So I guess this concludes my enlightening and emotional journey. Happy to answer any more particular questions if folks are curious about other fascinating details.

 

Good luck to everyone else embarking on this odyssey!

 

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I'm so glad I found this topic. I've been looking at this for a few weeks in preparation of filing our V0901's.

 

My husband and I both worked in Germany from 2015-2017. He left 12/17, and I left in early 2018. So his application will be the case-study and I'm hoping I get everything right.

 

I've read and re-read through this forum many times and still have a few questions if anyone could input. Thank you!

 

5.4

 Did you raise any children during the first 10 years of their life, for which child raising periods have not  yet been taken into account for your pension insurance?

If so, please complete and enclose form V0800 if these periods have neither been nor

were to be taken into account for you or for any other entiled

person.

 

I'm not sure how to answer this(for myself, I know his is supposed to be "no"). We moved with our daughter who was 2 at the time, and left when she was 4. Do I check yes or no here?

 

8.2

 Have you claimed and / or received any German benefits

(e.g. benefits on account of occupational disability / incapacity

to work or reduced earning capacity, benefits for medical

rehabilitation or participation in working life and / or contributions

towards medication and auxiliary aids - also for your spouse / registered life partner / child - or a refund of contributions)?

 

Would this include the Kindergeld we received for my daughter each month? 

 

 

I see others have mentioned needing to provide "signed declaration of consent" to speak with the us SSN, is there a way I can do this in advance?

 

I see others have visited german consulates but we are not very close to one. Is it just sufficient enough to have all our personal documents notarized as to verify our identity before submitting?

 

And one last question, I have seen a few different places to send the document. We worked in Herzogenaurach but someone mentioned that forms for americans were handled by the RVB office in Hamburg. Is this where we should be sending it?

 

Sorry for so many questions and thank you!

 

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This is a very helpful thread. 

I am about to start the process of reclaiming my pension contributions. 

 

I am an Indian citizen and currently reside in USA. I stayed in Germany for 3 years, so I am eligible for refund.

I am sure I will have many questions when I try to fill out the forms, which are mostly answered on this thread. 

 

I have one other question, hopefully someone can clarify my doubt. 

 

My job ended on Dec-31 2017, but I stayed in Germany until January 25 2018. 

During this period, I filed for unemployment. (My understanding was that I need to do this to maintain my legal status in Germany.)

 

Does this affect my process of reclaiming my pension contribution? If yes, then how?

 

Just trying to prepare myself. 

Thank you in advance.

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3 minutes ago, APATWA1988 said:

This is a very helpful thread. 

I am about to start the process of reclaiming my pension contributions. 

 

I am an Indian citizen and currently reside in USA. I stayed in Germany for 3 years, so I am eligible for refund.

I am sure I will have many questions when I try to fill out the forms, which are mostly answered on this thread. 

 

I have one other question, hopefully someone can clarify my doubt. 

 

My job ended on Dec-31 2017, but I stayed in Germany until January 25 2018. 

During this period, I filed for unemployment. (My understanding was that I need to do this to maintain my legal status in Germany.)

 

Does this affect my process of reclaiming my pension contribution? If yes, then how?

 

Just trying to prepare myself. 

Thank you in advance.

 

You have de-registered from Germany?  Not sure if you mean you are still registered as unemployed?

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On 1/3/2020, 2:33:19, RedMidge said:

 

You have de-registered from Germany?  Not sure if you mean you are still registered as unemployed?

 Yes, I de-registered before leaving Germany. I am not still registered as unemployed.

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