Leaving Germany? Don’t leave your money behind!

Leaving Germany? Don’t leave your money behind!


Being an expat certainly is an adventure of its own! Moving to an unknown country, starting from scratch, not speaking the language. Then comes the moment when it's time to say goodbye again and head back home or to another destination. And with that comes another to-do list. Although people generally remember to take care of important admin tasks like closing bank accounts and de-registering with the authorities, they often completely forget about their pensions. 

However, if you’re moving away from Germany, neglecting to think about your pension contributions is akin to throwing money down the drain. Did you know that if you leave Germany permanently, in certain circumstances you can claim this money back? A partner like Germany Pension Refund can help you with this process.

Claim back your German pension contributions with help from Germany Pension Refund

Claiming back your German pension contributions

The German social security system is designed to provide financial support to citizens, expats and foreign workers in the event of retirement, illness, or disability. If you work in Germany, you contribute to that system via salary deductions. Around 9 percent of your salary is automatically transferred to the Deutsche Rentenversicherung each month to help finance the pension system, which will support you when you retire. 

However, many expats end up leaving Germany before they reach retirement age and therefore do not recoup their contributions to the system. In this case, you might be entitled to a refund of your German pension contributions. 

But why do so many expats who leave Germany never claim their pension contributions back? There’s a few explanations. 

1. They don’t realise they’re entitled to a refund

One of the primary reasons that expats do not claim their pension refund is that they simply do not know about it. Germany’s social security system is vast and complex, and the information about pension refunds for expats is not widely available in English. 

Additionally, many expats do not have access to the necessary information, resources, or support to help them navigate the process of claiming their refund. Here is where Germany Pension Refund steps in! They are your partner, taking over the whole process for you, to ensure you get a quick, easy and secure refund.

2. They don’t think they are entitled to a refund

Even if they have heard about the possibility of getting a refund, many expats still don’t think they are eligible, because accurate information on the topic can be hard to find.

Put simply, you may be eligible if all three of the following apply to you:

  1. You worked in Germany but now live outside the EU
  2. You are not allowed to contribute voluntarily to the German system
  3. It’s been 24 months since you last contributed 

You can check your eligibility for a refund using the Germany Pension Refund eligibility check

3. They aren’t sure if the refund amount is worth it

Another reason why expats do not claim their pension refund is that they believe it is not worth the time and effort. Some expats may feel that the amount they are entitled to is too small to make the process worthwhile, or they may simply not understand the value of their contributions to the German social security system.

Let's see if some simple number examples will convince anyone who thinks that the refund is not worth bothering with:

  • Ally worked as a nurse in Germany for 20 months with a gross monthly salary of 2.000 euros. Her estimated refund is 3.720 euros. 
  • Tom worked as a nurse for 42 months with a gross monthly salary of 2.000 euros. His estimated refund is 7.440 euros.
  • Rajit worked as an engineer for 30 months with a gross monthly salary of 6.000 euros. His estimated refund is 16.740 euros. 
  • Jane worked in Germany for just 10 months with a gross monthly salary of 6.000 euros. Her estimated refund is still 5.580 euros!

Want to check how much your estimated refund would be? Use the Germany Pension Refund calculator to get an answer in just a few clicks.

4. They forget to apply for a refund

Finally, some expats simply forget about the possibility of claiming their pension refund. The application form can only be filed 24 months after leaving Germany, at the earliest, and it’s understandable that after two years you’ll probably have forgotten all about it. 

That’s why Germany Pension Refund takes care of this for you. You can claim your refund via their website immediately after leaving Germany and they will start the refund application process 24 months later, leaving you free to get on with your life. They will keep you informed every step of the way, and before long a tidy refund will be heading towards your bank account! 

Don't let fear of German bureaucracy win!

Working through German bureaucracy can be complicated and time-consuming, and many expats who have lived and worked in Germany may feel overwhelmed by the process of claiming their pension refund. 

Germany Pension Refund knows how hard it can be and is here to take over, taking care of the refund process for you. Start your refund application today



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