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

83 posts in this topic

On 8/7/2017, 12:13:09, chrisv_7 said:

Thread to help people understand how pension refund can work after leaving Germany.

 

Official website for Pensions:

Deutsche Rentenversicherung Bund (DRB)

http://www.deutsche-rentenversicherung.de/Allgemein/en/Navigation/englisch_index_node.html

 

Pension Refund Requirement:

- US and various other non-EU citizens can claim back their German state pension contributions if they contribute in Germany for less than 5 years (60 monthly contributions).

- The claim can only be made 2 years after leaving Europe (EU/EEA/CH).

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

 

DRB Email:

meinefrage@drv-bund.de

(All queries were sent to this email address. They will respond to emails in English too.)

 

Forms Required:

Please contact DRB and the German consulate in your country of residence to confirm the forms required.

1.  Form V0901 (Main claim for refund of pension contributions)

http://www.deutsche-rentenversicherung.de/Allgemein/de/Inhalt/5_Services/04_formulare_und_antraege/_pdf/V0901.html?cms_resultsPerPage=5&cms_templateQueryString=V0901+

2.  Form A1312-00 (Form in case refund is to be sent to a bank in USA or Canada)

http://www.deutsche-rentenversicherung.de/Allgemein/de/Inhalt/5_Services/04_formulare_und_antraege/_pdf/A1312.html?cms_submit=Los&cms_resultsPerPage=5&cms_templateQueryString=A1312-00

NOTE:

- If you have a German bank account then provide the IBAN number in Form V0901 (I requested a refund to my ComDirect Bank Account)

- For form V0901 - the Kennzeichen / Code does not need to be filled out

- I did not need Form A9060 "Lebens- und Staatsangehörigkeitsbescheinigung" / "Certificate of Life and Citizenship"

 

Confirmation of Personal Information in Forms at German Consulate:

- Make appointment in the Germany Consulate within your country of residence

- Take Passport and supporting documents (driver's license, utility bill or bank statement)

- There is no charge for confirmation of personal information for pension purposes

- German Consulate in USA website link for information and appointment: http://www.germany.info/signature

- Make appointment at the German Consulate for the purpose of "Signature Certifications / Authentications"  

 

Documents to send DRB:

1.  Passport copy

2.  Carbon copies from Social Security Record Booklet or relevant electronic vouchers from employer ( I sent my "Meldebescheinigung zur Sozialversicherung")

3.  Insurance cards number / copy of insurance card

4.  Check if any other doc can be sent (put tick mark in application) (e.g. Anmeldung / Abmeldung, Lohnsteuerbescheinigung, LohnKonto from firm)  

5.  Application Form (V0901)

 

Address of DRB in Germany to send Forms:

Deutsche Rentenversicherung Bund

Ruhrstr. 2

10709 Berlin

Germany

 

Timelines:

- DRB can take 6-8 weeks to respond and provide refund (my refund was processed in 4 weeks after DRB received my application)

 

My Scenario:

Citizenship: India

Country of Residence: USA (after leaving Germany)

Application for pension refund: After about 30 months of leaving Germany

Refund Received: About 4 weeks after application in my German bank account

Forms Sent: V0901

Year Sent: 2017

 

Can the funds be deposited into regular checking account? Or do they have to go into 401K account?

 

And if you deposit in regular checking account, do you have to pay taxes on the refund amount/

 

Thank you.

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On 1/7/2020, 11:34:04, APATWA1988 said:

Can the funds be deposited into regular checking account? Or do they have to go into 401K account?

 

And if you deposit in regular checking account, do you have to pay taxes on the refund amount/

 

Thank you.

The funds will be deposited in the account of your choice. Form V901 asked you to provide your preferred bank account. It can be any account anywhere in the world. Also it does not have to be your account, e.g. if you want the money to go to someone else. 

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On 8/7/2017, 1:13:09, chrisv_7 said:

Thread to help people understand how pension refund can work after leaving Germany.

... 

 

Pension Refund Requirement:

- US and various other non-EU citizens can claim back their German state pension contributions if they contribute in Germany for less than 5 years (60 monthly contributions).

- The claim can only be made 2 years after leaving Europe (EU/EEA/CH).

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

 

Hi Chrisv_7, 

 

what you mentioned as requirements is not correct/complete.

1. Citizenship does not matter at all.

2. It is also possible to get a refund for more than 5 years contributions.

3. The claim can only be made 2 years after your last contribution to the German Pension Scheme, not after leaving Europe (and you must be residing outside of the EU/EEA/CH at the time of filing the claim).

 

About 1. and 2.:

Eligibility for a refund is defined by the German Social Code, specifically in § 210 Abs. 1 Nr. 1 SGB VI.

(https://www.sozialgesetzbuch-sgb.de/sgbvi/210.html

The provision of Section 210 (1) No. 1 SGB VI grants insured persons a right to reimbursement if they are not subject to compulsory insurance and have no right to voluntary insurance.
Both requirements must be fulfilled at the same time.

 

Compulsory insurance to the Deutsche Rentenversicherung ends, once you leave Germany. 

If you reside outside the EU/EEA/CH in a non-contracting state, the Deutsche Rentenversicherung does not give you the right to voluntarily keep contributing to the pension scheme. 

 

If you fulfill both requirements, you are eligible for a refund of your contributions, no matter how long you have been contributing. 

 

BTW, I am a professional in this field for the past 12 years. Helping expats get refunds is our daily business. 

(Germanypensionrefund.com)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Hi there - this is important info, albeit a bit late for this particular fella after  3+ years, I am afraid.

But since you are a professional in this field:

a) welcome

b ) perhaps support Toytown by advertising?

c ) perhaps write a WIKI here on Toytown about this topic to help informing and educating Expats who are looking for such info?

 

I am active here since 2006 and it is a great place to assist Expats and make a name for yourself by offering free and worthwhile information and content to those looking for such info..

 

Cheerio

 

I am a professional independent insurance broker, financial adviser, and authorised advertiser. Contact me.
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Wondering if anyone had filed for their pension payments since March? My husband had sent his just before the COVID situation and received a response back in April. We sent his letter back and now are anxiously awaiting a deposit into our bank account.

 

I filed my pension refund in April as well and still have not received my first letter. I can only assume the DRV is operating slower than normal.

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I am trying to fill out the forms to reclaim the German pension. I am an American citizen and I worked in Germany from 2016-2018. 
 
I have filled out the V0901 form but I'm not sure about a few items on it.
 
 
5.1 and 5.2 - I am not sure about this one - I have ticked 'no' but that might be incorrect. I'm not sure if a German insurance record has been issued. Would that be health insurance? I had TK insurance. 5.2 also asks about what pension insurance scheme - again, I'm not sure what to put here.
 
12 - It mentions a "stamp" at the bottom. I'm unclear what they are asking for.
 
13 - This item mentions sending original documents. What original documents do I need to send? It was my understanding that I only needed to send my de-registration along with this application and the social security documents.
 
Also, I would like to know what documents I need notarized, and if this has to be done by a German consulate, or can these be notarized by another authority, such as a bank or a post office where notaries can be found.
 
Lastly, do I need to send a certificate of total contributions number (Aufrechnungsbescheinigungen Nummer)? I don't know what this is.
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On 2/15/2020, 8:45:04, Theo Matsiridis said:

Hi Chrisv_7, 

 

what you mentioned as requirements is not correct/complete.

1. Citizenship does not matter at all.

2. It is also possible to get a refund for more than 5 years contributions.

3. The claim can only be made 2 years after your last contribution to the German Pension Scheme, not after leaving Europe (and you must be residing outside of the EU/EEA/CH at the time of filing the claim).

 

About 1. and 2.:

Eligibility for a refund is defined by the German Social Code, specifically in § 210 Abs. 1 Nr. 1 SGB VI.

(https://www.sozialgesetzbuch-sgb.de/sgbvi/210.html

The provision of Section 210 (1) No. 1 SGB VI grants insured persons a right to reimbursement if they are not subject to compulsory insurance and have no right to voluntary insurance.
Both requirements must be fulfilled at the same time.

 

Compulsory insurance to the Deutsche Rentenversicherung ends, once you leave Germany. 

If you reside outside the EU/EEA/CH in a non-contracting state, the Deutsche Rentenversicherung does not give you the right to voluntarily keep contributing to the pension scheme. 

 

If you fulfill both requirements, you are eligible for a refund of your contributions, no matter how long you have been contributing. 

 

BTW, I am a professional in this field for the past 12 years. Helping expats get refunds is our daily business. 

(Germanypensionrefund.com)

-----....

Thanks Matsiridis for the valuable information.

I have a question...how to prove the 2 years residency in the country that does not have a pension agreement with German. I think the abmeldung certificate paper when leaving Germany does not guarantee where the person stays after that...so how this can be proved... thanks a lot

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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On 10/18/2020, 12:25:26, Omda said:

 

@Omda You need to pay a fee to get a response from Theo now :D 

 

Such companies are the reason I wrote this post as people are paying thousands of Euros for people filling out forms. In different threads you will find misleading and confusing information which is probably done so that people go for such services in desperations.

 

My post was a best effort basis based on information I received and I quoted sources wherever I could. I never claimed that all potential use cases have been covered by a 1 page blog (which should be obvious). This process worked for me and I shared it so others could benefit when moving out of Germany as it can be a stressful period and I hoped to make the process a little easier with this post. Anyone starting this process needs to use the info I provided as a starting point and then use the official website to research their individual situation.

I request everyone to actively post your experience so others benefit. Considering everything going on around the world, a helping hand from strangers would spread some love and hope. 

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On 1/7/2020, 6:34:04, APATWA1988 said:

Can the funds be deposited into regular checking account? Or do they have to go into 401K account?

 

And if you deposit in regular checking account, do you have to pay taxes on the refund amount/

 

Thank you.

Regular account is fine, you can also provide your German account. 

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On 8/16/2020, 11:20:50, durianfan said:
I am trying to fill out the forms to reclaim the German pension. I am an American citizen and I worked in Germany from 2016-2018. 
 
I have filled out the V0901 form but I'm not sure about a few items on it.
 
 
5.1 and 5.2 - I am not sure about this one - I have ticked 'no' but that might be incorrect. I'm not sure if a German insurance record has been issued. Would that be health insurance? I had TK insurance. 5.2 also asks about what pension insurance scheme - again, I'm not sure what to put here. -- Read the posts
 
12 - It mentions a "stamp" at the bottom. I'm unclear what they are asking for. -- From the DE consulate
 
13 - This item mentions sending original documents. What original documents do I need to send? It was my understanding that I only needed to send my de-registration along with this application and the social security documents. -- The DE consulate can certify the copies. 
 
Also, I would like to know what documents I need notarized, and if this has to be done by a German consulate, or can these be notarized by another authority, such as a bank or a post office where notaries can be found. -- Read the posts
 
Lastly, do I need to send a certificate of total contributions number (Aufrechnungsbescheinigungen Nummer)? I don't know what this is. -- No Idea, send what is applicable to you. All the requests may not be applicable. 

See comments above. 

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On 11/2/2018, 8:51:13, Starshollow said:

 

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.

Glad this helped! I came across a lot of such threads too but looks like they were alternative facts :D 

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Thought I'd share my experiences here on getting a German pension refund. I don't have any background in this, so not any sort of advice / I'm just an internet rando.

 

I'm a US citizen who lived in Munich for a little under a year, during which I worked for a German company. I then moved away, and after two years of being back in the US with no intention of returning to the EU, I filled out my application.

 

My local German embassy directed me to this URL, which has the forms I completed: https://www.germany.info/us-en/service/07-Pension/pension-refund/905438

 

I filled out two forms, V901 “Antrag auf Beitragserstattung bei Auslandsaufenthalt" (to request my pension refund) and A9060 “Lebens- und Staatsangehörigkeitsbescheinigung" (to verify my citizenship). I did not complete A1312 “Zahlungserklärung”, as I still had my German bank account open and didn't need to request one from abroad. That said, if you need a deposit into a US bank account, you would need it.

 

For form V901, some questions that were tougher to answer at first:

5.1 Has a German insurance record already been issued? (I answered no -- I didn't receive any sort of form, at first I thought it may have been my insurance card, but it isn't)

6.3 Are you currently liable to pay contributions to a state pension insurance scheme outside Germany (I answered yes, as I pay into Social Security)

 

I had both V901 and A9060 notarized at my local Bank of America branch for free before I sent the document off with:

  • copies of my passport (+ copy of my blue card)
  • my Meldebescheinigung
  • my Lohnsteuerbescheinigung
  • copies of my initial registration and deregistration forms from Germany (Anmeldung, Abmeldung)
  • copy of my German social insurance card
  • (I forget, but potentially) my employment contract and/or my rental contract

I mailed these documents to Deutsche Rentenversicherung Nord (Friedrich-Ebert-Damm 245 22159 Hamburg) on Oct 6, 2020. I received a piece of mail back (at my US address) on Nov 5, 2020 with a form where I had to confirm that I wished to receive a refund.

 

I mailed this form back from the East Coast of the US two days later and received the money in my German bank account on Nov 24, 2020. I additionally received a confirmation in the mail of the deposit on Dec 21.

 

Hope this helps! Doing this myself saved me a few hundred euros.

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Hello All,

Thank you to this post and all the detailed responses, I was also able to get my refund last year in June. I had to make a few calls and write emails after sending the application, but eventually the refund showed up in my US bank account. (I chose US bank account as they required a notarized copy if the bank deposit form).

 

Now I would like to ask question about taxation in US. 

 

US Resident/citizens, how did you declare this on your tax? 

From what I am reading, this needs to be declared as Social Security Benefit. (based on US-Germany Tax Agreement)

 

My tax filing status is Resident Alien (As I am an Indian Citizen in US on H1B Visa). Not sure if there is an exemption which will help me reduce the tax burden? 

I found the wording inconsistent between various IRS documents. So I am here looking for help on how people have declared this income on their tax forms. (If declared at all). 

 

Thank you all in advance and appreciate your support. 

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On 8/7/2017, 12:13:09, chrisv_7 said:

Thread to help people understand how pension refund can work after leaving Germany.

 

Official website for Pensions:

Deutsche Rentenversicherung Bund (DRB)

http://www.deutsche-rentenversicherung.de/Allgemein/en/Navigation/englisch_index_node.html

 

Pension Refund Requirement:

- US and various other non-EU citizens can claim back their German state pension contributions if they contribute in Germany for less than 5 years (60 monthly contributions).

- The claim can only be made 2 years after leaving Europe (EU/EEA/CH).

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

 

DRB Email:

meinefrage@drv-bund.de

(All queries were sent to this email address. They will respond to emails in English too.)

 

Forms Required:

Please contact DRB and the German consulate in your country of residence to confirm the forms required.

1.  Form V0901 (Main claim for refund of pension contributions)

http://www.deutsche-rentenversicherung.de/Allgemein/de/Inhalt/5_Services/04_formulare_und_antraege/_pdf/V0901.html?cms_resultsPerPage=5&cms_templateQueryString=V0901+

2.  Form A1312-00 (Form in case refund is to be sent to a bank in USA or Canada)

http://www.deutsche-rentenversicherung.de/Allgemein/de/Inhalt/5_Services/04_formulare_und_antraege/_pdf/A1312.html?cms_submit=Los&cms_resultsPerPage=5&cms_templateQueryString=A1312-00

NOTE:

- If you have a German bank account then provide the IBAN number in Form V0901 (I requested a refund to my ComDirect Bank Account)

- For form V0901 - the Kennzeichen / Code does not need to be filled out

- I did not need Form A9060 "Lebens- und Staatsangehörigkeitsbescheinigung" / "Certificate of Life and Citizenship"

 

Confirmation of Personal Information in Forms at German Consulate:

- Make appointment in the Germany Consulate within your country of residence

- Take Passport and supporting documents (driver's license, utility bill or bank statement)

- There is no charge for confirmation of personal information for pension purposes

- German Consulate in USA website link for information and appointment: http://www.germany.info/signature

- Make appointment at the German Consulate for the purpose of "Signature Certifications / Authentications"  

 

Documents to send DRB:

1.  Passport copy

2.  Carbon copies from Social Security Record Booklet or relevant electronic vouchers from employer ( I sent my "Meldebescheinigung zur Sozialversicherung")

3.  Insurance cards number / copy of insurance card

4.  Check if any other doc can be sent (put tick mark in application) (e.g. Anmeldung / Abmeldung, Lohnsteuerbescheinigung, LohnKonto from firm)  

5.  Application Form (V0901)

 

Address of DRB in Germany to send Forms:

Deutsche Rentenversicherung Bund

Ruhrstr. 2

10709 Berlin

Germany

 

Timelines:

- DRB can take 6-8 weeks to respond and provide refund (my refund was processed in 4 weeks after DRB received my application)

 

My Scenario:

Citizenship: India

Country of Residence: USA (after leaving Germany)

Application for pension refund: After about 30 months of leaving Germany

Refund Received: About 4 weeks after application in my German bank account

Forms Sent: V0901

Year Sent: 2017

 

Hi Chris, 

How did you pay taxes on the pension refund? Meaning in US or in Germany? And did you declare is as Social Security Benefit on 1040?

I have similar situation as you, just 3 yrs later.

 

Appreciate your feedback. 

Thank you. 

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13 hours ago, APATWA1988 said:

US Resident/citizens, how did you declare this on your tax? 

From what I am reading, this needs to be declared as Social Security Benefit. (based on US-Germany Tax Agreement)

 

The payment represents the refund of post-tax contributions withheld from wages previously income-taxed in the year contributed.

 

Because there is no income component, the refund is a tax non-event in both countries.

 

 

 

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6 hours ago, Straightpoop said:

 

The payment represents the refund of post-tax contributions withheld from wages previously income-taxed in the year contributed.

 

Because there is no income component, the refund is a tax non-event in both countries.

 

 

 

Thanks for your feedback. 

 

I checked my tax documents from Germany and realized that I paid income tax on gross income minus the standard deduction. So you are right that the pension contribution is already taxed. 

 

So even though certain standard deductions for pension were taken during tax filing, I don't owe any taxes on that amount?

 

Just trying to clarify before I file my taxes in US. 

 

Thanks. 

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14 hours ago, APATWA1988 said:

So even though certain standard deductions for pension were taken during tax filing, I don't owe any taxes on that amount?

 

You took a deduction for retirement plan contributions (Vorsorgeaufwand) allowed by Germany on a German return.  How Germany computed your your ultimate tax liability is of no relevance to how the US would compute it.

 

The amounts now being returned to you were contributions from after taxed income.  It was included in your German taxable base in the year earned (and would have been included in the US tax base if you had a US tax obligation in the relevant year).  Whether and how much tax you actually paid in the year you made the contributions and how that tax was computed is irrelevant.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I have a few questions. I filed for my pension refund 2 years after I left germany. I included the form from when I de-registered(Feb 2018) and everything and they sent me the mail back that says to "tick this box if you want your refund now, or to wait until your retirement age" I sent that back ASAP.

 

Then I received a form that said I was a part of the german insurance(or something along those lines) until 12/31/2018, and then I was eligible to file 2 years after that date. A bit weird but I still technically had an active visa in germany since I took maternity leave and moved to the USA(did not get pair however).

 

I've attached the form that I mailed back to them which they received on Jan 7, 2021 and I have not hear anything since nor have I received a refund into my bank account. I sent an email via their website last week, and nothing yet. My german is basically nil at the moment so I am scared to call.

 

It seems like a long time without a response or a deposit, right?

IMG_3900.jpg

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Has anyone used any of the pension refund assistance companies out of Germany to assist? I really don't want to since I already filed and did all of the work myself. But I am having a hard time getting the DRV to correspond with me. My paperwork was filed ages ago and I still do not have a deposit in my account.

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