What happens with the pension contributions after leaving Germany?

This is a question very often asked by Expats who left or are planning to leave Germany after their assignment. When working in Germany employees had to pay their contribution to the German Pension Insurance for years….and now? Where did all this money go? How can I get it back? There are three different possibilities:

You are eligible for a German pension, if you paid in total at least 60 months to the German pension fund or any other national pension fund of an EU country. Insurance time of other countries also counts, depending on what is agreed in regards to Social Security Agreements between certain countries and Germany. Example: A citizen of the USA who has been insured in Germany for two years is eligible to get a German pension, if she/he has been paying Social Security Taxes in the USA for at least three years. If she/he retires, she/he would get two pensions one from Germany and one from the USA.

  1. If you are not eligible for a German pension, you can always reimburse your pension contributions after reaching the retirement age (67 years for those who are born in 1964 or later)
  2. Under certain conditions, it is possible to refund German pension contributions (before the retirement age is reached). It is important to note that this possibility can also exist although one is eligible to get a German pension later on. The question whether a German pension refund can be issued or not is rather complicated and depends on the nationality, the current residence, for how long contributions to the German pension fund have been paid and other criteria. Use our free Pension Refund Check to find out if and under which circumstances you can refund your pension money! However, you can only apply for a German pension refund if the last time you have been insured in a national pension fund of an EU country is at least 24 calendar months ago.

Keep in mind that only the contributions the employee (you) paid can be refunded, not the ones the employer paid for you. To learn more Get started with our Free Refund Check

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