Are You Eligible for a German Pension Refund?

If you are a non-European citizen, you could be eligible for reimbursement of your retirement insurance contributions paid while you worked in Germany.

 

If 24 months have passed since you left Germany, and you currently reside outside of the EU, EEA, CH, or UK you could qualify to get that money back.


Claim your refund online to save time and any potential complications.  

Check out how easy it is to get your German Pension Refund with us!

The fastest way to get your money back is the Claim your refund online form.

Specific rules might apply depending on your citizenship

 

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Are You Eligible?

Nationality and Residency

Refunds for Europeans

Refunds for Contracting State Nationals

Refunds for Non-Contracting State Nationals

BREXIT

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After leaving Germany you probably want to get your German Pension refund back as soon as possible.

But, do you qualify for a refund?

The German Social Code §210 SGB VI defines your eligibility: You have the right to get reimbursed, if you are not allowed to pay voluntary contributions (to the German pension scheme) where you currently reside, and if 24 months have passed since your last mandatory contribution paid in Germany. 

While you reside anywhere inside the EU/EEA/CH/UK, you are allowed to pay voluntary contributions to the German system. Therefore, as part of your eligibility you are required to reside outside of that area.  

A selected few (20) non-European countries have signed social security agreements with Germany. Every agreement is unique. There is no general rule for every contracting state.

 

If you are a citizen of a contracting state, the specific agreement with your home country defines whether you are allowed to pay voluntary contributions where you currently reside. Some agreements allow voluntary payments if you have over 60 months of contributions in Germany, in other agreements it depends on where you live, while some agreements are not limited at all. If you are not allowed to pay voluntary contributions you can get your money back.  

On a different note: 

You automatically become eligible once you have reached the German age of retirement (65-67 based on when you were born) if at that time you do not qualify for retirement benefits.

 

 

Nationality and Residency

The Deutsche Rentenversicherung distinguishes between different groups of foreigners based on bilateral agreements, which can affect your German pension refund eligibility:

 

Europeans:

This group consists of Germans and citizens of the European Union member states (EU), nationals of the European Economic Area (EEA), nationals of Switzerland, and still includes British nationals who have worked in Germany before Brexit.  Check your eligibility.

 

 

Citizens of non-European Contracting States:

If your home country has signed a social agreement with Germany you are considered a citizen of a contracting state.

Current agreements exist between Germany and:

Albania, Australia, Bosnia Herzegovina, Brazil, Canada/Quebec, Chile, India, Israel, Japan, Kosovo, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Morocco, Philippines, Serbia, South Korea, Tunisia, Turkey, Uruguay, United States of America. 

There is no general rule regarding refund eligibility that covers all contracting states equally. Every agreement is unique. Germany Pension Refunds specializes in the specific agreements. We know which rules apply for your specific case. Check your eligibility.

 

Nationals of Non-Contracting States:

If you do not find yourself in either group 1 or 2, then you are considered a national of a non-contracting state: Germany and your home country have not signed any social security agreements. 

Check your eligibility.

When it comes to refund eligibility, different rules apply, depending which group you belong to. The specifics are laid out in the corresponding agreement. In the following part you will learn what is required for you to qualify for a refund, depending on your group. The requirements become more complex, the more supranational and intergovernmental regulations take part. 

 

Non-Contracting State Nationals

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Being a national of a non-contracting state simply means that Germany and your home country have not signed any social security agreements. That is very good for your refund eligibility.

 

Once you have left Germany but still reside within the area of the EU/EEA/CH/UK, you are allowed to pay voluntary contributions, but that ends once you move out: 

 

If you reside outside the EU/EEA/CH/UK, and 24 months after your last contribution in Germany have passed, you are eligible for a refund.

 

Despite what you might have heard: It does not matter how long you have paid contributions (more or less than 60 months). You have the right to get a reimbursement of all contributions you paid in Germany.

 

Check how much you will get back with our free refund calculator

If you are eligible, get your refund now!

 

Contracting State Nationals

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Your home country has signed social security agreements with Germany which might affect your eligibility for a refund:

 

In general: Every agreement is unique. There is no general rule regarding your eligibility, you will have to look at the specifics of the agreement with your home country. Contact us to get quick answers.

The agreements define whether you are allowed to pay voluntary contributions to Germany while you are residing outside of the EU/EEA/CH/UK.

 

Some agreements do not allow you to pay voluntary contributions ever. If that is your case, you are eligible for a refund.

 

Other agreements require you not to live in your home country, or to not have paid contributions for longer than a certain period. 

Here are some examples of different rules:

If you are an Indian, Australian, or US-American citizen, you are allowed to pay voluntary contributions from anywhere in the world, if you have paid contributions in Germany for 60 months or longer. If that is the case, you cannot get a refund. If you have contributed for less months, you can get a German pension refund. 

If you are a citizen of Tunisia or Morocco, you are never allowed to pay voluntary contributions outside of the EU/EEA/CH/UK and you can get a refund.

 

Israeli citizens are allowed to pay voluntary contributions back home, but not in different countries.

If you reside outside of the EU/EEA/CH/UK and Israel, you are eligible for a German pension refund.  

If you are a Japanese citizen, and you move back home, you can only get a refund if you have contributed for less than 60 months, otherwise you are allowed to pay voluntary contributions. But if you live in a different country outside of the EU/EEA/CH/UK and Japan, you are no longer allowed to pay voluntary contributions and you can get a German pension refund. 

Please contact us to find out more about your specific case if your home country has signed an agreement with Germany. 

 

Check how much you will get back with our free Pension Refund Calculator

If you are eligible, get your refund online!

 

European Nationals

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European citizens, including citizens of the EEA, CH, and UK citizens that were employed in Germany before BREXIT, are covered by EU regulations which require equal treatment to German citizens. 

German citizens are allowed to pay voluntary contributions from anywhere in the world. Germans can only get a pension refund if they have reached retirement age, but they do not qualify for retirement pension. In other words, if the total period of contributions has been less than 60 months

 

If you are holding dual citizenship (or give up your citizenship for a non-EU one) you could be eligible for a refund.

 

Check how much you will get back with our free Pension Refund Calculator

If you are eligible, get your refund now!

 
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