German Pension Refund for Japanese Nationals

As a Japanese who was working in Germany, familiarizing yourself with the criteria for obtaining a pension refund is essential upon your departure from Germany. Your payments into the German pension system are a significant element of the country’s social welfare framework. However, navigating the process to reclaim these contributions, especially understanding the requirements for Japanese citizens, can appear daunting.

This article delves into the crucial details concerning eligibility for a pension refund from Germany for Japanese nationals.

Whether you’re contemplating requesting a refund of your German pension or seeking to understand the social security arrangements between Germany and Japan better, this guide aims to offer clear insights and guidance to assist you in making informed decisions about your financial future after departing from Germany.

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German Pension Refund Eligibility for Japanese Nationals

As a Japanese resident in Germany, a portion of your monthly taxable income, approximately 9%, is directed towards the Deutsche Rentenversicherung, Germany’s official pension insurance system. It’s crucial to note that this contribution is a collaborative effort, with your employer matching your payments into the social security framework.

Upon the conclusion of your employment in Germany, what happens to these contributions? Is it possible to retrieve them?

The procedures for reclaiming your pension contributions from the German Pension Insurance are outlined in the German Social Security Code (§210 SGB VI) and elaborated upon in the Social Security Agreement between Germany and Japan. This agreement caters to the specific requirements of Japanese citizens, outlining the conditions for eligibility and the application process for reimbursement of contributions.

Having a grasp of the steps involved in reclaiming your German pension contributions is essential as you contemplate your future beyond Germany. As a Japanese national, you may qualify for a refund if you meet certain criteria.

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Pension Refund Eligibility: General Criteria

Upon leaving Germany, you generally become eligible for a refund of your German pension contributions if:

a) you are not authorized to make voluntary contributions to the German pension system (voluntary insurance/freiwillige Versicherung) from your new country of residence.


b) at least 24 months have passed since your last contribution to Germany’s statutory pension scheme.

If you have the option to make voluntary insurance payments (a), depends on the social security agreement between Germany and your home country.

Usually, you do not qualify for a refund of your German Pension contributions if:

a) You are eligible for German pension benefits or are already receiving a retirement pension from Germany.

b) You are allowed to make statutory pension contributions or are covered by compulsory insurance in Germany.

c) You can make voluntary contributions to the German pension scheme (freiwillige Versicherung).

In short: The eligibility for German Pension Refund for Japanese citizen’s

If you’re a Japanese citizen and your employment in Germany lasted less than 5 years (meaning you made pension contributions for 59 months or less) and you currently reside in Japan, you’re eligible for a refund of your German pension contributions.

However, if your contribution period exceeds 60 months, you can only get reimbursed if you live outside the EU, EEA, CH, UK, or Japan.

German Pension Payout

Intergovernmental Social Security Agreements

The bilateral agreements between Germany and Japan govern the exchange of social security benefits. As a Japanese citizen residing in Germany as a tax resident, you become eligible for a German retirement pension after contributing for 60 months.

Under the Social Security Agreement between Germany and Japan, you can increase your German pension by residing in the EU or UK (voluntary insurance) after leaving Germany, provided you qualify for old age pension.

If you still reside in the EU or the United Kingdom, you can continue paying pension contributions to Germany. Similarly, if you currently reside in Japan and have already contributed for at least 60 months in Germany, you’re permitted to continue contributing to the German Pension system.

In summary, as a Japanese citizen, you can receive a pension refund if you reside in Japan and have contributed for less than 60 months, or if you live outside of Japan (and outside the EU or UK), regardless of the duration of your contributions.

After 60 monthly contributions as a Japanese expatriate in Germany, you qualify for a retirement pension. If you haven’t qualified but still reside in the EU or the United Kingdom, you can make contributions to reach the 60-month threshold.

If you live outside the EU, UK, and Japan, you could be eligible for a pension refund 24 months after the last contribution. In Japan, you can only claim a refund if your German pension balance reflects less than 60 mandatory monthly contributions.

This means, that if you reside in the EU/UK or have contributed for a minimum of 60 months to the German pension system, you’re not eligible for a pension refund. This is because you’re entitled to a German pension under the agreement, allowing you, as a Japanese citizen, to make voluntary contributions, even if you don’t directly benefit from them.

Pension refund Germany Japan

Claim your Pension Payout with our Free Eligibility Check

When it comes to obtaining German pension refunds, processing times can vary significantly, ranging from several months to over six months. For those seeking a faster resolution, specialized services like Fundsback offer an expedited pathway. Renowned for our efficiency and effectiveness, Fundsback is dedicated to improving your pension refund experience through expert guidance.

Furthermore, Fundsback provides valuable resources, including a free eligibility check and a user-friendly refund calculator. These tools are designed to seamlessly assess your eligibility for a refund and estimate the potential refund amount. Our goal with the refund calculator is to facilitate a transparent and simple process for reviewing your pension insurance records with the German pension fund and claiming your pension refund.

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Streamline your German Pension Refund with Fundsback

Fundsback simplifies the process of optimizing your Social Security benefits in Germany, providing a streamlined and efficient experience. Our team of specialists offers tailored assistance and guidance to Japanese citizens navigating the application process for German pension refunds. Given the complexities of international agreements, social security systems, and pension schemes, expert support is essential to ensure you are well-informed and comfortable throughout the process.

At Fundsback, we take pride in offering personalized advice to evaluate your eligibility for a refund and maximize your payout from the German pension system.

Choosing Fundsback allows you to navigate the intricacies of the German pension system confidently, ensuring a smooth refund process and eliminating the usual hassles associated with such bureaucratic procedures.

Do you need help with your German pension? Contact us today for a consultation!