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German Pension Contribution Refund Eligibility

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How Can I Claim My 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 in a Non-EU country you could qualify to get that money back.

Specific rules might apply depending on your citizenship.

If you are not sure if you are eligible, get a quick answer with our Free Eligibility Check.

German Pension Refund Eligibility

The information below is aimed exclusively for non-EU citizens who worked temporarily in Germany and are seeking a refund of their pension contributions before reaching retirement age.

Claim Your German Pension Refund

After 24 months have passed since you left Germany, and you currently reside outside of the EU, you could qualify to get your German pension refund.

Specific rules might apply depending on your citizenship. Press here to fast check if your eligibly.  


German Pension Refunds Claims for Contracting State Nationals

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

If your home country has signed a social agreement with Germany you are considered a citizen of a contracting state and you can defiantly claim you German pension refund


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, TunisiaUruguay, United States of America.


There is no general rule regarding refund claim 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: Claim your refund today, Germany and your home country have not signed any social security agreements. Check your eligibility

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Contracting State Nationals
Refunds for Non-Contracting State Nationals
German pension contribution refund Eligibility
Refunds for Europeans

German Pension Refunds for Europeans


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 failed to qualify for retirement pension. In other words, if the total period of contributions has been less than 60 months in Germany or any other country in the EU combined.

If you give up your EU citizenship and take on a non-EU nationality, you could be eligible for a refund.

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Can I Get a Pension Refund After 5 Years of Contributing?

Can I Claim a German Pension Refund After 5 Years of Contributing?

Most nationalities are not allowed to pay voluntary contributions after moving out of the EU, if you are among them, you can get a German pension refund after 5 years and more contributions paid.

So, who are the few selected that cannot get refunds after 5 years?

Citizens of the United States, India, Canada, Australia, Albania, Moldova, the Philippines, and South Korea cannot get a refund after having qualified for a German retirement pension by contributing for at least 5 years. If you are a citizens of one of the above mentioned countries, it is impossible to get a refund once your pension balance counts 60 months.

If citizens of Brazil, Japan, Uruguay, and the former Yugoslav states move back home, they also cannot get a refund after more than 60 monthly contributions have been paid. But if they move to a different country - e.g. the U.S.A. - this rule no longer applies and a refund is possible without any limits. 

Israeli citizens living in Israel cannot get a refund before reaching the age of retirement. But if an Israeli lives abroad - e.g. in the U.S.A. - a refund is possible without any limits of contribution applied. is specialized on special cases.

Go ahead and check which rules apply for yourself. Do not get discouraged if you find out that your home country is a contracting state.

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