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Pension

Foto eines älteren Ehepaares beim Spaziergang

Älteres Ehepaar beim Spaziergang, © colourbox.com

Article

German authorities mainly pay two different kinds of pensions:

  1. Old age pensions for working in Germany/survivor pensions of persons who worked in Germany and
  2. compensation pensions (e.g. for incarceration in a German concentration camp)

These two forms of pensions are paid by different authorities. Some beneficiaries receive both kinds of pensions. Persons who worked in a Ghetto might fulfill the criteria for receiving an old age pension or a lump sum payment.

German old age pension

Many persons residing in the Philippines receive old age pensions from Germany. These payments are not made by the German missions, but by different German pension authorities. In general, banks carry out the payments for the pension authority. Should you require information on your old age pension, please contact the German pension authority directly.

As the official language in Germany is German, you might receive information from your pension authority in German only. The German Embassy in Manila does not offer translation services. Please contact a translator for assistance. (For list of translators, download here)

Applying for a German old age pension or survivor's pension

Pensions from the German Social Security Insurance are only paid upon application and when all conditions are fulfilled (e.g. contributions for a minimal insurance period, age limit).

You can receive application forms from your German Pension Authority. The completed forms have to be submitted directly to the German Pension Authority.

Application processing takes at least up to six months. If you want to inquire about the current status of your application, please contact the pension authority.

The German Embassy in Manila can only provide general information and is not a branch of the German Pension Authority abroad. Specific questions with respect to your pension or the amount of your pension can only be answered by the experts of the German Pension Authority. You can find the contact details of the Pension Authorities on the website of the German Pensions Insurance.

Refund of pension contributions

Under certain conditions (for example when contributions were paid over less than five years) the pension contributions that were paid through mandatory pension schemes can be refunded.

An application for a pension contribution refund can be made if more than 24 months since the last contribution have passed. Please contact the German Pension Insurance directly to find out more.

Death of a pensioner

When a beneficiary passes away the Pension Authority needs to be informed without delay. It will then discontinue the payments. The information can either be forwarded by the next of kin/executor of the estate or by the German Embassy in Manila. The following information/documents are required by the German Pension Authority:

  • death certificate of the beneficiary
  • date of birth
  • name and file number of the Pension Authority
  • name and contact details of the executor of the estate

You can find the contact details of the Pension Authorities on the website of the German Pensions Insurance.

The pensioner is entitled to the pension for the month in which he/she passed away. In most cases the pension payment was made at the beginning of the month/end of the previous month. Pension payments which are made after this time must be paid back to the Pension Authority.

Taxation of German pensions

On January 1, 2005 a new law on taxation of old age pensions (Alterseinkünftegesetz) entered into force. According to this law, pension from the statutory pension insurance (and other forms of pensions) shall be gradually carried over to full taxation. This also applies to pensioners living abroad.

If you have further questions regarding taxation of your pension in Germany, you have the option to either contact the competent tax authority in Germany or a tax accountant with knowledge in international taxation regulations. Due to the complexity of this matter, the German Embassy in Manila is not in a position to offer further information or counseling.

Please find more information on the website of the Finanzamt Neubrandenburg (tax office specialized for pensions paid to pensioners living abroad).

Life certificates

Every summer, recipients of a German pension are required to submit a "life certificate" to the pension authority to secure payments for the following year. These forms are mailed out directly to the pensioner by the competent pension authority.

Life certificates are usually sent out until July of each year. Should you not have received your life certificate by that time, please contact your Pension Authority directly, as the German Embassy in Manila is not involved in this process.

Please refer to the back of the life certificate for detailed information on the administrative procedures.

Recipients of a German pension are required to submit a „Declaration for Further Collection of Pension from the Federal Republic of Germany (life certificate)“ to the pension authority once a year. A form will be mailed directly to the pensioner by the competent pension authority in Germany.

You have to return the signed and certified form directly to the pension authority in Germany on time. The time limit is given on the top right hand corner of the life certificate form. If the pension authority does not receive the life certificate within the set time limit, a reminder containing a second form will be sent out. If you fail to submit the form in time, your pension will be suspended.

Your signature on the life certificate needs to be certified. The authorities which are entitled to certify your signature are listed on the form. We highly recommend to contact one of these authorities for certification.

Please note that in some cases, additional certification/legalization may be required by the German Embassy in Manila. If this is the case, it will be clearly indicated on the form.