Please explain me § 3 BetrAVG...can I get a refund of BAV contributions after leaving Germany?

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I was working until the end of last year in Germany, and for 4 years and 11 months I paid into 2 BAV plans, matched by my previous employer

- A main one, which I started in 2015, managed by Ergo. Let's call it "Plan A"

- A smaller one, managed by Alte Leipziger, started automatically by my employer after the new law in 2019, that forced employers to contribute an additional 15%. Let's call it "Plan B"

 

The lump-sum that I might get in 30 years out of these 2 plans is negligible, and I'd rather get this money out now, and invest it independently.

 

After quitting my job in Germany, I moved to Switzerland afterwards; I asked both companies what's going to happen to my 2 pension plans, and in particular if there is any way to get the money paid out...

The answers I received by the customer service, and the content of the contracts, were not very clear...but up until now I thought that the simple answer was "NO", and I'd just have to wait until I'm 67 to get a tiny lump sum out of them. In fact, those 2 plans have been automatically converted in "Beitragsfrei" plans...

 

Recently, out of the blue I received a refund of the contributions paid for by my ex-employer, MINUS 30%, because

- I paid into Plan A less than 5 years

- I still have 30 years left to pension age, so I lose 30% of the employer's contribution...

This made me wonder if I could actually get everything out, so I contacted Alte Leipziger again, and I was told...

 

"bitte klären Sie vorab mit der ERGO Pensionskasse, ob eine Abfindung Ihres Vertrages nach § 3 BetrAVG, zum 01.11.2020 möglich ist. Sofern die Antwort ja lautet, lassen Sie sich bitte die beitragsfreie monatliche Rente zum 01.11.2020 mitteilen.

 

Wenn Sie beides geklärt haben, melden Sie sich gerne bei mir, damit ich die Kündigung Ihres Vertrages in unserem Haus überprüfen kann."

 

Can somebody please explain me if there's a chance to get this money? I tried to Google § 3 BetrAVG, but the explanations that I found weren't very clear.

Another alternative I'd be willing to explore, is to "transfer" these 2 plans into my Swiss 2nd pillar (the equivalent of the BAV), so that at least I don't have to keep track of 3 different pensions.

 

Thanks a lot

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