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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 VI) 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 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. In that case you cannot get a refund, because you have qualified for old age pension from Germany and as an US citizen you are allowed to pay voluntary contribution (no matter if you make use of it).

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 / United Kingdom. 

*Agreement between Germany and the USA on Social Security (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 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 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. 

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

Hanna Owens
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Absolutely excellent..I highly recommend!

Julia with German Pension Refund is absolutely excellent!! She made the process so simple for me, providing clear instructions and translations of all German paperwork, checking in with me on a regular basis and nudging the pension office during the waiting period. It took about 7 months from start to finish for me to receive my refund but at no fault of Julia or the company. The pension offices in Berlin are understaffed and overwhelmed (of course), and she continued to ensure me that all was well and that it would arrive eventually. I highly recommend using German Pension Refund! Thank you Julia!

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Ben Paro
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Periodic updates on the

Johannes and Germany Pension Refund made the process of getting me and my wife's pension refunds clear, simple, and easy! I really appreciated the periodic updates on the progress of our paperwork through the system, especially since one of our refunds took an unusually long time at the desk of the pension officer.

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Len Dickter
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Delivered on everything they promised

You can absolutely trust this company. They are honest, professional, communicative and delivered on everything they promised. My refund took longer than expected because of the German govt., but they kept in touch with me throughout, and ensured everything was successfully processed in the end. I cannot recommend them enough, especially given how frightening it can be to trust an overseas company with a financial transaction such as this.

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Nicholas Wood
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Very good about keeping in touch...I wouldn't hesitate to recommend

Johannes was great to work with and was very good about keeping in touch and providing updates throughout the process. It took longer than expected but that is typical with my experience dealing with German bureaucracy. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend the Germany Pension Refund.

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Irene Su
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Great efficient service. Recommend!

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Jonathan Kim
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Provided everything in a clear, concise manner...received my refund just under 6 weeks

The representative that worked on my refund case (Julia K) provided everything in a clear, concise manner. Her email replies were quick and I received my refund just under 6 weeks after my initial contact with her. Highly recommend this service to anyone that does not want to deal with the paperwork or the bureaucracy. The service is well worth it!

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Shawn Ridgeway
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Always on top of it and accommodating! Would highly recommend!

German Pension Refund helped us get both our pension and tax refunds back. The pension and tax offices both had a lot of back and forth, but our rep, Johannes, was always on top of it and accommodating! Would highly recommend!

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Stefan Ikelman
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Simply a fantastic service!

Simply a fantastic service! While you do have to take the time to gather and provide all the info they need to process the refund, they provide a great service and relatively quick in comparison. I could only imagine having to do this myself. Surely all foreigners wish to forget the nightmarish experiences at the Ausländerbehörde, so were not looking forward to doing this type of work with another likely unhelpful government agency. So we kept putting it off, until we found this team. So happy we did! Johannes was our guy and always kept us in the loop, and in the end, success! Their fee is all on contingency so nothing out of pocket and certainly well spent. No need to hesitate further, get your cash back!

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Hansun Hsiung
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The fee was modest compared to the time and effort saved

Highly recommended! Christian gave prompt and careful attention to my application, turning what would otherwise be a complicated process into one that was extremely simple and efficient (e.g., translations of all forms, explicit directions on how to fill forms out, etc.). In my case, at least, the fee was modest compared to the time and effort saved and the amount ultimately recuperated.

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Mihir Patwardhan
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Great company to work with...great communication...highly recommend!

This is a great company to work with. Johannes is an amazing client partner, with great communication. I got regular updates on the status of my case. Would highly recommend!

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Devi Rajan
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The best part is the prompt response each time I ask something

My experience with Germany Pension Refund was excellent! Mr. Johannes clarified all my questions and updated me throughout the process. The best part is the prompt response from Mr. Johannes each time I ask something. I have no complaints at all. I highly recommend "German Pension Refund". Overall a great experience and a job well done! Thank you!

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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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