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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 in a non-EU/UK country you could qualify for a German pension refund.

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


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 affecting your refund exist between Germany and:
Albania, Australia, Bosnia Herzegovina, Brazil, Canada/Quebec, Ch
ile, India, Israel, Japan, Kosovo, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Morocco, Philippines, Serbia, South Korea, Tunisia, TurkeyUruguay, 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 Refund specializes in the social security agreements. We know which rules apply. Check your eligibility

If you are a non-EU citizen and your home country has not signed a social agreement with Germany: claim your refund today. If you are not sure: Check your eligibility

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Contracting State Nationals
Refunds for Non-Contracting State Nationals

German Pension Refund Claims for Non-Contracting State Nationals

Being a national of a non-contracting state simply means that Germany and your home country have not signed any social security agreements yet.

Once you have left Germany but still reside within the European Union (EU) or United Kingdom (UK), you are allowed to pay voluntary contributions, but that ends once you move out;

If you reside outside the EU/UK, and 24 months after your last mandatory pension insurance contribution in Germany have passed, you are eligible to claim 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.

If you are eligible,
Get your refund!

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German pension contribution refund Eligibility
Refunds for Europeans

German Pension Refunds for Europeans

European citizens, including citizens of the UK that were employed in Germany before BREXIT, are covered by 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 no matter how long contributions were paid.

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

Citizens of the United States, India, Canada, Australia, Brazil, Albania, Moldova, the Philippines, South Korea, and Uruguay 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.

The same rule applies to citizens of Japan, while living in Japan. But if you live abroad of Japan, no limit applies.

Israeli citizens can only claim refunds residing in a non-EU/non-UK country outside of Israel. The period of contribution does not matter. 

Citizens of the Ex-Yugoslav States can only claim a refund residing in a non-EU/non-UK country outside of any Ex-Yugoslav State. The period of contribution does not matter. 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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