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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

Mihir Patwardhan
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Great company to work with...great communication...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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C. McCartney
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Painless and very transparent

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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Clarissa Franklin
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Translations were regularly provided so I understood what I was signing

Johannes has been great to work with. Communication and instructions were clear and translations were regularly provided so I understood what I was signing. He made the process simple for me.

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Francisco Galvan
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Pension refund in record time

Our process started in July for me and my wife. My wife's refund was delivered in a few months and my refund arrived today. I highly recommend Germany Pension Refund. Johannes and his team delivered 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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Brittany Swelam
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A pleasure to work with from start to finish... I highly recommend!

Johannes was a pleasure to work with from start to finish! He kept me updated throughout the process and was quick to answer any questions I had. I highly recommend Johannes and his team!

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Maclellan Swan
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Seamless Experience

Excellent communication and a fast resolution. It was a really seamless experience working with the team here!

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Tim Burke
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Couldn't be happier with the results

Julia and her team were a pleasure to work with. They provided all of the proper documentation and communication throughout the process of my refund. It took about 2 months or so from end to end and I couldn't be happier with the results. Thank you!

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Nicolas Moessner
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Totally legit...refund in very timely manner

This firm is totally legit, knows the intricacies of the German system, is extremely nice and got my refund in a very timely manner. Johannes took very good care of my case. Nicolas

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David Kirschberg
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Absolutely Seamless Process

Absolutely seamless process. Fair rates and great communications. Highly recommended.

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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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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. 


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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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