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HOME  CONTRACTING COUNTRIES  /  German Pension Insurance Claim | USA

German Pension Refund Eligibility |USA

The information below is for American citizens who previously worked in Germany and contributed to the German pension system.


Germany - USA | German Pension Refund | All Rights Reserved

German Pension Refund Eligibility for American Citizens

How to get a German Pension Refund online  | Germany Pension Refund | All Rights Reserved

As an American Expat, while you were employed in Germany, each month a percentage of your gross salary was paid to the Deutsche Rentenversicherung - the statutory German Pension Insurance - as a pension insurance contribution for your retirement pension.


But what happens to your contributions now, after you have left Germany? Can you get that money back?

The German Social Security Code (§210 SGB IV) regulates the reimbursement of pension contributions from the German Pension Insurance in general, while the Social Security Agreement between Germany and United States of America defines how this law applies to you.

Rule of Thumb For Americans:

As an American you can be reimbursed only if you have worked in Germany for less than 5 years and since your last contribution in Germany 24 months have passed.

Can American Citizens Claim a Refund of their German Pension Contributions?


After leaving Germany you are generally eligible for a German pension refund, if...

a) you are not allowed to keep paying German Pension contributions (voluntary insurance) where you currently live, and... 

b) at least 24 months have passed since the last pension contribution payment in Germany.

If you are allowed to pay voluntary insurance (a), is defined by the agreement with your home country.


Office building Rentenversicherung, Berlin  | The German statutory pension insurance | All Rights Reserved

Are American Citizens Allowed to Pay Pension Insurance Contributions After Leaving Germany?

The Social Security Agreement* between Germany and USA answers that question: 

If you still live in the EU, EEA, Switzerland or the United Kingdom, you are allowed to keep paying pension contributions to Germany. 

Also, if you have already paid contributions for at least 60 months you are allowed to keep paying German Pension Contributions from anywhere in the world where you live. In that case you cannot get a refund, because you have qualified for old age pension from Germany.

In other words:

As an American citizen, you can only get a pension refund if you have not qualified for retirement pension yet, and you live outside of the EU or the United Kingdom. 

*Read the German-American Social Security Agreement (DE/EN)

Social Security Agreement:


Based on the Social Security Agreement between Germany and USA you are allowed to grow your German pension from anywhere in the world (voluntary insurance) after leaving Germany if you have qualified for old age pension.

As a American Expat in Germany, after 60 monthly contributions you qualify for a retirement pension.

If you have not qualified, but still live in the EU, EEA, Switzerland, or the United Kingdom, you are allowed to pay towards the 60 months to qualify, too.

If you have not qualified for pension, and you live outside the EU, EEA, Switzerland, or the United Kingdom, you could be eligible for a pension refund, 24 months after the last contribution was paid.

​How Long Does a German Pension Refund for American Citizens Take?

The German pension authority is supposed to provide a decision on your claim within 6 months from submission.

If after 6 months you have not received a decision (Bescheid) from the authorities in Germany, our specialists will take legal action based on the Social Court Act (§88 SGG) and sue the authority for inaction. The court will then force the pension office to act. 

How We Speed Up the Refund Process: is able to provide you with the fastest average process times of 8 weeks while others have to wait six months or longer.

A German law firm escrow account will be provided, which makes your refund process most Easy, Quick, and Secure. The correspondence happens within days, and our legal specialists know exactly how to speed up the process for you. 

Bob McRobbie
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The whole thing was a breeze

I contacted the company as soon as I turned 67 in May and they were extremely helpful in explaining the process. I filled in a few forms they required and sent them back to Germany in late June. They handled everything transparently and efficiently. I received my refund into my bank account in mid September. The whole thing was aa breeze.

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Anthony K
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Made the process look easy

Very well-organized and professional. They kept me regularly updated and made the process look easy!

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Christian Clampitt
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I would absolutely recommend

Johannes was prompt, courteous and professional. He took the time to explain each step and the relevant paperwork. I would absolutely recommend.

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Francisco Galvan
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Very accommodating to all questions and concerns

I highly recommend Germany Pension Refund. Johannes and his team were very accommodating to all are questions and concerns. In the end we received my wife's pension refund in record time. I truly believe we could have not done it with out Johannes and Germany Pension Refund! Thanks Johannes and Team!

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Matthew Asay
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Highly Recommended

This company was extremely fast and efficient. Highly recommended!

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Nicolas Pearson
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Refund took little over 1 month

Great service, Johannes kept me up to date every step of the way.
My refund was processed and received in a little over month. I can definitely recommend using this company

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Brigitte Troubady
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Extremely professional, courteous and efficient

The whole process, although demanding quite a bit of paperwork, was a breeze. Johannes was extremely professional, courteous and efficient, answering all emails the same day.
I strongly recommend this company!

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Brian Pinto
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Refund in 1 month

I am absolutely impressed with the exceptional service I received from Germany Pension Refund. From the very beginning displayed a high level of expertise in the procedure and the process went very smooth. It just took 1 month to get my pension money back after the first contact with their team. I would highly recommend their service to anyone in need of getting their pension refund without any hassle.

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Avery Lim
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It only took 2 months

My experience with Johannes and Germany Pension Refund greatly exceeded my expectations: the process was very smooth, painless and fast! It only took two months from my initial inquiry until when I got the pension refund deposited into my bank account. Would highly recommend their service :-)

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Mimi Morton
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Excellent communication and professionalism

I highly recommend the Germany Pension Refund and Johannes, who kept me updated at all times and managed all documents for me. Excellent communication and professionalism throughout the whole process

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Bob Dionise
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One of the most professional companies I have ever worked with

The Germany Pension Refund Company is one of the most professional companies I have ever worked with. They always respond quickly to correspondences. They seem to be very competent to navigate the difficult German bureaucracy.

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How Much Can I Claim From My German Pension Insurance?

While you were employed in Germany, 9.3%* was deducted from your gross salary up to the income threshold and transferred to the German Pension Insurance.


As an American citizens you can claim your pension insurance contributions based on the rules explained above.


Use our free reimbursement calculator to get an estimate of your possible premium reimbursement.


* Current rate since 2018, different in previous years


If you are curious to read more about the social security agreement and its effects on working in Germany and the USA, you can find more information from the Deutsche Rentenversicherung here. 

USA Agreement

German Pension Contribution Refund

Our service is Easy, Quick and Secure.


Thanks to our years of experience, we know exactly how to speed up the processing time of your German Pension Refund and we make sure that you enjoy a smooth, pleasant, and uncomplicated premium refund. 


We are here for you. Read more

Free Eligibility Check

We provide Free Eligibility check - do not hesitate to claim your refund.

Feel free to Contact Us regarding your German pension refund, eligibility, residency, waiting period, or any other questions that might arise reading through our refund information. We are here for you.

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