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How to claim your German pension - a complete guide

Updated: May 29, 2023

The process of getting your pension back may seem difficult. Nevertheless, if you follow the rules correctly, you could potentially receive thousands of euros from your German pension.

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There are a number of factors that should be considered for claiming your pension refund. It depends on your :

  • Nationality

  • Place of current residence

  • How long did you work in Germany?

  • What was your gross salary?

To find out how much you can claim back, check out the many German Pension Refund calculators available online.

Alternatively, you can check out Pension Refund's pension refund calculator.

Documents required for German pension refund

  • Completed application form

  • Your pension insurance number

  • Personal ID (identity card, passport, birth certificate or family register in copy)

  • Your insurance history (of all insurances you had while in Germany)

  • Income tax certificates for each financial year you worked in Germany.

  • Your tax identification number

  • Your international account number IBAN and the international bank code BIC

  • A power of attorney if you are applying on behalf of someone

  • Meldebescheinigung zur Sozialversicherung

It is important that you fill out the additional form V0105 if you answer "yes" to the question regarding gaps in insurance in section 5.

Just for you to note, you may be required to submit supporting documents when applying for a pension refund. That may include some of the documents listed below

  • Your insurance period completion documents.

  • Birth certificates of your children

  • Proof of professional training

  • A written authorization is required if there are an authorized representative

  • A determination sheet from the corresponding agency is required if civil servant times are available

  • Evidence of training periods

  • Evidence of periods of unemployment and illness

  • Your birth certificate and, if applicable, the birth certificates of your children

  • Even if the apprenticeship was terminated or you failed the exam, you should have your apprenticeship contract and journeyman or commercial assistant certificate.

What is the process for claiming my German pension?

Wait 24 months after your last pension payment

You must wait 24 months before applying for a pension refund after your last mandatory payment. The documents can, however, still be prepared while you wait. Preparing the documents while you are in Germany makes the whole process easier for you.

Download the application form and fill it out

To complete the form, visit and download the package of forms

You can book an appointment with the deutsche rentenversicherung if you need help filling out the forms. Alternatively, you can also call them. The telephone support is, however, only available in German.


Though the application form is available in different languages including English, we recommend you fill out the German version (V0900) to make the process smoother.

Bank details

You need to fill Zahlungserklärung (the payment information form). Please note that the refund process will take approximately two months longer if you use a bank in another country.

If your bank account is in Germany use the form A1310. Otherwise, fill the form A1313.

Alternatively, we recommend you not to close your Wise - formally TransferWise or N26 accounts even if you leave Germany. Having a German bank account will get your refund much faster.

If you don't have a Wise or N26 account yet, we recommend you create one while already in Germany.

Sending your application

Once you complete all the applications and you’ve waited 24 months after leaving Germany, you are ready to post everything to deutsche rentenversicherung.

Please note that you cannot send the documents before the end of the 2nd year. Sending your documents too early may result in them being returned to you. Await an answer. The Deutsche Rentenversicherung will review your case as soon as they receive your application. In case of a need for supporting documents or additional information, they will contact you. In order to contact you, they will only use the postal service, that too in German. To prove that you live in the country you stated in the application, you might need to visit the German embassy or consulate.

Finally, it all depends on the person who’s processing your application at DRV. Each person wants different information. It is important to be patient.

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