German Pension Question

7 posts in this topic

I lived and worked full time in Cologne from 3rd November 2008 to 28th February 2013 and was on Arbeitslosengeld from March 2013 and deregistered with the Arbeitsagentur on 14th Jan 2014. I left Cologne, done some travelling, then moved back to the UK and have been working here since.

 

I understand that I cannot claim back my contributions since I was there pre-Brexit but I just found out that you only need a minimum of 5 years contributions to qualify for the pension. I believe Arbeitslosengeld makes contributions, which would put my around the 5 year mark if I remember the dates correctly. If my memory is wrong, I might be a month or two short. Is it possible to check and make a voluntary contribution to top it up?

 

I technically have dual nationality but do not have the passport (I'm checking to see what it would take to get it). Is this a better route than going for the minimum pension?

 

Thanks in advance!

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you should address your question to the 

 

https://www.deutsche-rentenversicherung.de/

 

https://www.deutsche-rentenversicherung.de/DRV/DE/Beratung-und-Kontakt/Kontakt/kontakt_node.html#:~:text=Unser%20Servicetelefon,bitte%20direkt%20an%20Ihren%20Rentenversicherer.

 

Telephone 0800 1000 4800

 

Its better if you know your insurance number with them !!

 

They will tell you if you have 5 years or not, and if you can pay in to make it up. Generally I do not consider the pension very good value, there are better investments around, as you have to live to 97, before you get the money you put back. But at least its a guarantee of payment unlike other investments

 

 

 

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Thanks for the tip, I haven't spoken German for almost a decade so will see how that goes!

 

I'm unsure if I can find my insurance number after all this time. Will need to have a dig around, I have scans of some old payslips. Hopefully it's on there!

 

Jeez, I'm somewhat accident prone so don't see me making it to 97 to be honest (although the UK will have you working till 97 before your pension at this rate). I was hoping the company contributions would have made the pension better value but doesn't sound like it's anything significant. Still better than nothing I guess.

 

I'll see how the dual nationality route goes but I'm doubtful that will pan out.

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You can ask to talk to an English talking person !, book a meeting with them

 

Talk all your documents with you, they know what to do ...  they should be able to find your insurance number

 

apart from the money dual citizenship, seems like a good idea

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Thanks for the tip! I'll make an appointment and see what they say.

 

I've found out dual nationality is a little tricky in my case. It would be a Hong Kong Special Administrative Region passport I would be going for and they don't recognise dual nationality. I believe I would need to live there and renounce my British citizenship to get one. Not exactly ideal and trying to cheat those rules have heavy consequences if caught.

 

I have a vague recollection that my grandparents from my fathers side were Irish (they all died when I was young so not sure) but it's still EU so kinda useless in this case. Might be worth pursuing if Brexit makes travel to the EU inconvenient though.

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7 minutes ago, Akira181 said:

Thanks for the tip! I'll make an appointment and see what they say.

 

I've found out dual nationality is a little tricky in my case. It would be a Hong Kong Special Administrative Region passport I would be going for and they don't recognise dual nationality. I believe I would need to live there and renounce my British citizenship to get one. Not exactly ideal and trying to cheat those rules have heavy consequences if caught.

 

I have a vague recollection that my grandparents from my fathers side were Irish (they all died when I was young so not sure) but it's still EU so kinda useless in this case. Might be worth pursuing if Brexit makes travel to the EU inconvenient though.

 

 

Getting dual nationality will make no difference to your pension rights from your German contributions whether its German or Irish.

 

I guess it depends on how long you want to stay in Germany or the EU, but if its a longer term thing, than I would try to get the Irish passport as it just makes living in the EU easier, you would have the right to stay in the EU if you want and there is not much they can do to stop you, you can also buy property without the authorities approving it, you also get rights to jobs that say an American ( or non EU person ) does not have. You of course will get hasstle free travel in the EU as you would be an Irish citizen.

 

If you have a British passport, you can ring up the  Births, deaths, marriages and care - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk) . They can trace back to where your parents were born, and grandparents if needed. They can see your birth certificate etc etc and tell you if going back in time you had and Irish mother or  father. If you want to go though with getting an Irish passport you will need to order these certificates to prove your family history.  You will need to get the birth, marriage and death certificates all the way back to your Irish ancestors. These guys can probably help you  gov.ie - Online availability of births, marriages and deaths records extended (www.gov.ie)

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If you are British and have a National Insurance record (starts from the tax year in which you turn 16) and as you were in Germany pre-Brexit you should be covered by the Withdrawal Agreement meaning the EU rules on the coordination of social security systems continue to apply to you.  You can therefore claim a pension from German when the time comes based broadly on your German contribution years and one from the UK based on your contributions there.  Each country applies the EU rule to aggregate years from all countries and to pay you a pro-rata pension based broadly on your qualifying years in their country.  There are loads of threads on here about that.

 

The DRV will probably suggest doing a Kontenklaerung and recording your UK years onto their records (this is separate from the EU rules).  This can be beneficial, even in connection with the EU rules applying when you come to claim.  But if your German years (German contributions plus any UK years accredited through the Kontenklaerung) are less than 5, the EU aggregation and pro-rata rules will get you over that line, assuming you have some contribution record in other EU countries or the UK.

 

In the UK, the aggregation can get you past the required 10 years for a new State Pension if you end up with less than 10 UK years.

  

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