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FAQ - Pension/Retirement Contributions

I worked in Germany for several years but am moving home and will not be working in Germany again and I want to receive a full payout of the amount I paid into the pension/retirement fund. Is this possible?

If you are a US, Canadian or Australian citizen, it seems your contributions can be refunded if you contributed for less than 60 months and more than 24 months have transpired since your last required contribution and you have moved home or to a non-EU state.

According to a brochure from the Deutsche Rentenversicvherung Bund (German Retirement Fund), your compulsory contributions can be refunded to the full amount and your voluntary contributions can be refunded up to 50 percent. Contributions by your employer will not be refunded.

It is also possible to collect your retirement in the US or Canada from Germany once you reach 65. British citizens have different options, given both countries are EU member states. According to the Deutsche Rentenversicvherung Bund, you are not eligible for a full payout if you are still required to pay social security taxes into another EU state's system, i.e., Great Britain. If, however, you made contributions for less than five years, you are eligible for a full payout upon reaching age 65. Otherwise, it seems another possibility is to combine your British and German social security payments upon reaching retirement age.

Obviously, while this is how we understand the information from the Deutsche Rentenversicherung, these are questions that can only be answered completely by a lawyer or an accountant.

You can also visit their English language website page on this topic by clicking here.

To learn more about the German retirement and pension system go to our article.