Niederlassungserlaubnis and Australian Working Life Residence

11 posts in this topic

Apologies in advance if this is digging up old ground. I searched through the various pages on Rentenversicherung, but couldn't find the question put so directly.

 

I'm a dual UK/Australian national who's been living in Berlin for the past 4 years and plans to stay on - eventually with permanent residency.

 

The Deutsche Rentenversicherung recently reminded me that I'd accrued only 5 months of contributions and would need another 55 months to make up the 60 required to be eligible for a German age pension - which is also the required amount to qualify for permanent residency.

 

I did a bit of research on the International Social Security Agreement between Australia and Germany and discovered that, according to Part 2, Article 6 of the agreement, I'm permitted to add periods of "Australian Working Life Residence" to my periods of coverage in Germany to meet the minimum requirement for the German Old Age Pension, Early Age Pension and Reduced Earning Capacity Pension.

 

Subparagraph (c) of Article 6 states:
For purposes of determining eligibility for a benefit payable under the German legislation:
• a month which is recognised as a month in a period of Australian working life residence shall be considered as a month of contributions under the German legislation.

 

Australian working life residence" (AWLR) is translated by my online dictionary to "australischen Arbeitsaufenthalts", however Australian social-security law defines it as "any and all periods from the age of 16 to age-pension age when a person was an Australian resident. It is a measure of a person's potential working life and does not mean that a person had to have worked or paid taxes".

 

I've just sent DRV a message suggesting that since I've already made a 5 month contribution to the German pension scheme, shouldn't my 40 year period of AWLR be recognised as 40 years of contributions under German legislation?

 

I'm aware of the "...eligibility for a benefit payable..." bit quoted above, however it still begs the obvious  question: shouldn't the recognition that a month of AWLR = a month of contributions under German legislation, be extended to satisfying the requirement of 60 months Pension payment for permanent residency?

 

DRV won't be willing to offer advice on this matter of course, but I was wondering if there were any other Australians out there who have been down the same track?

 

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3 hours ago, bauman said:

I've just sent DRV a message suggesting that since I've already made a 5 month contribution to the German pension scheme, shouldn't my 40 year period of AWLR be recognised as 40 years of contributions under German legislation?

 

I'm aware of the "...eligibility for a benefit payable..." bit quoted above, however it still begs the obvious  question: shouldn't the recognition that a month of AWLR = a month of contributions under German legislation, be extended to satisfying the requirement of 60 months Pension payment for permanent residency?

 

DRV won't be willing to offer advice on this matter of course

 

Actually there is away to get an official answer from them and that is by completing a Kontoklärung

 

https://www.deutsche-rentenversicherung.de/SharedDocs/Formulare/DE/_pdf/V0100.html

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25 minutes ago, engelchen said:

Actually there is away to get an official answer from them and that is by completing a Kontoklärung.

 

Thanks for the link. I actually meant that I wouldn't expect them to give advice on the matter of a permanent residency, as it's outside their remit.

 

They did get back in touch about the pension eligibility though, and said that it had been referred to another branch.

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well - Kontenklärung is still the way to go, even if you just want your questions answered. 

 

You don't have to download and fill and mail a form, though - you can do the whole thing online:

https://www.eservice-drv.de/eantrag/hinweis-ohne-karte.seam

The thing to pay attention to there is what branch is handling your file. Since you have lived/worked in another country, your branch will automatically be DRV Berlin - no matter where in Germany you live.

 

My husband and I recently went through the process for our US work history. About four weeks after submitting this Antrag online, you will receive a letter with a form in the mail. That form is to give the Australian office of social security permission to hand over your personal data to DRV in Germany. After you mail that piece of paper back to DRV it'll take another three months or so for them to process your request.

 

After that you'll receive a nice, very detailed, "book" tailored to your personal situation. It contains everything they now know about your life - with regards to work and retirement benefits - amounts of money, relevant times in your past, and dates for future events. All that for free! I find that totally worth it, very enlightening :)

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Thanks karin. Am I right in thinking that you and engelchen are suggesting that DRV would compile a profile that would kind of 'translate and certify' my status as a contributor to the German pension system?

 

Regarding my original question, it remains to be seen if this would go any way toward crediting my requirements for the Niederlasungserlaubnis.

 

Also, I'm not sure if the Australian system correlates to the American one in this regard. We and/or our employers pay into investment funds that are handled by regulated superannuation firms. My own working-life contributions to this fund involve a bewildering number of short-term contracts with different organisations. The idea of getting it all compiled into a personalised album by a German pension authority is a strange one: half-cosy and half-terrifying.

 

Anyway, thanks again for your advice - I'll keep an eye on this option.

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15 minutes ago, bauman said:

Thanks karin. Am I right in thinking that you and engelchen are suggesting that DRV would compile a profile that would kind of 'translate and certify' my status as a contributor to the German pension system?

 

Regarding my original question, it remains to be seen if this would go any way toward crediting my requirements for the Niederlasungserlaubnis.

Google spits this up - after quite some digging: 

in der Rentenversicherung werden die Zeiten im Ausland grundsätzlich für die Wartezeit anerkannt. Ob die Zeiten im Ausland für eine Niederlassungserlaubnis berücksichtigt werden, klären Sie bitte mit der zuständigen Ausländerbehörde.

You'll have to go to Ausländerbehörde anyways for your Niederlassungserlaubnis. I believe, that your complete DRV profile (which you should get through Kontenklärung) will help them decide.

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3 minutes ago, karin_brenig said:

in der Rentenversicherung werden die Zeiten im Ausland grundsätzlich für die Wartezeit anerkannt. Ob die Zeiten im Ausland für eine Niederlassungserlaubnis berücksichtigt werden, klären Sie bitte mit der zuständigen Ausländerbehörde.

 

Good to know: so it seems like the Ausländerbehörde makes the final call on this. Would still be interested to find out if any other Australians have had "Australian Working Life Residence" credited in their application for Niederlassungserlaubnis. One of the things I find curious is that it stipulates a period of time, rather than any particular amount of contributions. 60 months at the minimum contribution of €84 comes to around €5000, but this isn't payable retroactively as a lump sum.

 

Anyway, I don't wish to go over old ground. Thanks for the tip.

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I can't help you with the issue of your permanent residency, but I can tell you that there is indeed a reciprocal arrangement between Germany and Australia as far as the old age pension is concerned. I looked into this some time ago. I am an Australian citizen with permanent residency here. I would be eligible for a pension here and (or) in Australia, the one major difference being that the Australian pension is subject to a means - assets and income - test, whereas the German one isn't. It will be up to me to crunch the numbers when the times comes to determine which pension to apply for/ take. I believe that it's possible, for example, to have a couple of million in super in Australia and still be eligible for the minimum pension here. As I say, I looked into this a while ago, so am a little unsure now of the details, and don't know if anything has changed in the last 4 or 5 years.

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1 hour ago, Aussiedog said:

It will be up to me to crunch the numbers when the times comes to determine which pension to apply for/ take.

 

yep, I got a sense of crunch time approaching when the DRV told me that I'd have to make up the 60 months before retirement age. However it seems like the agreement makes it unnecessary to start paying into the system - or at least takes the deadline pressure away.

 

In case it's useful for anyone else, the body of the Social Security Agreement can be found here:

https://www.dss.gov.au/about-the-department/international/international-social-security-agreements/current-international-social-security-agreements/social-security-agreement-between-australia-and-germany

 

And a FAQ (note the section on Main Features and Claiming a German Pension):

https://www.dss.gov.au/about-the-department/international/international-social-security-agreements/current-international-social-security-agreements/australia-and-germany-frequently-asked-questions#7

 

There's also information and a definition of "Australian working life residence (AWLR)" here:

https://guides.dss.gov.au/guide-social-security-law/1/1/a/340

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3 hours ago, bauman said:

 I actually meant that I wouldn't expect them to give advice on the matter of a permanent residency, as it's outside their remit.

 

Sorry, I misunderstood you.

 

The ABH can at their discretion accept other proof as sufficient pension payments. If you want to know what your local ABH will accept, you have to contact them. 

 

2 hours ago, bauman said:

My own working-life contributions to this fund involve a bewildering number of short-term contracts with different organisations. The idea of getting it all compiled into a personalised album by a German pension authority is a strange one: half-cosy and half-terrifying.

 

I don't think there is anyway around this and I'd do it sooner rather than later.

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1 hour ago, engelchen said:

I don't think there is anyway around this and I'd do it sooner rather than later.

 

I fear you might be right. Part of the ageing process I guess... :o

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