Germany - USA | German Pension Refund | All Rights Reserved
German Pension Refund Eligibility for American Citizens
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, EEA, Switzerland or the United Kingdom.
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:
GermanyPensionRefund.com 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
I submitted my paperwork months ago to the refund office in Berlin but my follow-up phone calls and messages went unanswered. I hired Germany Pension Refund and within a week they got in touch with the person who was assigned my case and asked for my refund to be approved. I was told it could take up to eight weeks for my refund to be processed but the money appeared in my account three weeks later. Highly recommend!
Having worked with pension refund team, I found them responsible, reliable, and most importantly committed to what they say from day one to the end of the process. I highly recommend this fantastic team to everyone who seeks to do pension refunds and is looking for a fast and reliable way to do that. Special thanks to Johannes and Anna to help me throughout this journey especially during these tough circumstances due to the Covid pandemic. This job wouldn't have been done without their support and help.
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