Why leaving Germany doesn’t mean saying goodbye to your pension contributions

Why leaving Germany doesn’t mean saying goodbye to your pension contributions


If you are an expat working in Germany as an employee, you most likely contribute to the German pension system. In a nutshell, the contributions from the working population are used to pay the pensions of those who have reached retirement age, or are entitled to a pension for other reasons. When you retire, your pension will be paid out of contributions from the younger generation, and so it goes on. 

So far, so fair, but what if you don’t end up retiring in Germany? What happens to those contributions you put into the system if you end up leaving the country? In our world of escalating costs and persistent inflation, that’s a lot of money to just throw away, so let’s take a moment to examine your options!  

Check if you are eligible for a German pension refund

Reclaim your pension contributions with Germany Pension Refund

Did you know that, under certain circumstances, you can apply to have the money you contributed to your German pension refunded? To qualify for a refund, you must meet the following criteria:

  1. You are a non-European Union citizen, and you are not allowed to pay voluntary contributions; AND
  2. You have paid contributions to the German pension scheme (which happens automatically if you are employed in Germany); AND
  3. You live outside of the European Union / UK and 24 months have passed since your last pension contribution in Germany. 

You can use this online tool to check your personal eligibility for a German pension refund.

(Note that your home country might have a bilateral social security agreement with Germany, meaning the rules are slightly different for you. Among others, such agreements exist with the USA, India, Brazil, Canada and Australia. Find out if your home country is among the contracting countries.)

Otherwise, if you meet all the requirements, congratulations, you might qualify for a pension refund! And best of all, you don’t need to worry about tackling the infamous German bureaucracy, as Germany Pension Refund will take care of the whole process for you. They’ve been helping people successfully claim their refunds since 2007. 

Let Germany Pension Refund take the lead

Don’t let your aversion to bureaucracy, uncertainty about the process or fear of interacting with German authorities stop you. Seize your financial opportunity and avoid leaving your money behind in Germany. 

If you have already heard about the possibility of receiving a pension refund but avoided the subject, don’t worry - you are not alone. A lot of expats know about the opportunity and fail to file for a pension refund for three common reasons: 

  1. The fear of endless and complicated German bureaucracy. You've been there, you've experienced it, you want to move on and not deal with it again.
  2. Not knowing if a refund will be worth the effort. 
  3. Simply forgetting about it. 

Germany Pension Refund can help you on all of the above fronts. By choosing to let them step in to help, you let them hustle with German bureaucracy on your behalf. They will take the reins on your refund process, keeping you posted on every step along the way, but allowing you to move on with your life. 

If you know you’re likely to get caught up in the process of moving abroad and forget about the whole thing, Germany Pension Refund even offers a reminder service. Simply contact them while you are still in Germany, providing them with all of the initial information they need, and they will contact you 24 months later to start the refund process as soon as you are eligible. 

There are no upfront costs or risks involved, as Germany Pension Refund takes care of the whole process for you, only taking a reasonable fee after the refund has been successfully granted. 

Calculate your estimated pension refund now

If you’re not sure of the effort, why not calculate your estimated refund now and see how much you could get back. Don't hesitate! Make sure to claim what you are entitled to: claim your German pension refund today!



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