How to Apply for German Pension
Have you worked in Germany and now live in the U.S.? How can you secure your pension? You will find all relevant information on German Pensions in the brochure Working in Germany and the United States of America. This brochure is available on the website of the Deutsche Rentenversicherung Bund:
German-American Convention on Social Security
The agreement, which came into force on December 12, 1979, has many advantages for pensioners who have worked in both Germany and the U.S. For example, contributions from both countries may be combined to calculate your pension. Under certain circumstances, should you not fulfill the required minimum contribution time in Germany, your U.S. Social Security contribution times can be added, thereby possibly making you eligible for a pension after all.
Please find the German-American Convention on Social Security and the Totalization Agreement with Germany on the website of the U.S. Social Security Administration:
Even before you reach the required retirement age you can ask for information on your pension payments’ account to check whether all relevant contribution times have been included. Please note that this is not an application to initiate pension payments:
Pensions from the German Pension fund are being paid when you reach the required retirement age (Altersrente), as disability benefits (Erwerbsminderungsrente), or survivor’s benefits for a widow, widower or orphan (Hinterbliebenenrente)
With all applications you will have to include a notarized life and citizenship certificate (Lebens- und Staatsangehörigkeitsbescheinigung). It can be notarized by the Embassy/Consulate General or by a notary public.
Windfall Elimination Provision
Please note that according to the U.S. Windfall Elimination Provision receiving a German pension might result in a reduction of U.S. Social Security payments. For more information on this topic please follow this link:
Please also see the Social Security Administration's website to this topic at: