Pension matters

Foto eines älteren Ehepaares beim Spaziergang

Älteres Ehepaar beim Spaziergang, © colourbox.com


General Information / Social Security Agreement

You were working in Australia before or you are intending to emigrate to Australia? You are an Australian national working in Germany now? Perhaps you are wondering how your work in different countries will affect your pension in the future since there are different social security systems in Australia and Germany.
Although that is correct, we can reassure you. Germany and Australia have concluded an agreement to absorb possible disadvantages for you. This brochure of the Deutsche Rentenversicherung informs you about the details of the Social Security Agreement between Germany and Australia.

brochure of the Deutsche Rentenversicherung

Website Deutsche Rentenversicherung

Life certificates for recipients of German old age pensions

Once every year you are requested by your German pension authority to submit a life certificate. If you do not present the certificate in time, your pension payments may be suspended. It is therefore important that you fill in the life certificate form completely and always remember to sign it.

In order to have the document certified with an official seal and signature you should go to one of the following places:

  • your local Centrelink branch
  • Justice of Peace
  • your bank manager
  • police
  • hospital, Red Cross
  • Notary Public
  • the pastor of your congregation

Any other verification, e.g. by a post office, GP or pharmacist, will not be recognised!


Should you not receive your pension payments from the Deutsche Rentenversicherung DRV (German Federal Pension Fund) but from a different insurance carrier please pay close attention to the information regarding the verification of your life certificate in the accompanying letter. In these exceptional cases a certification by the competent German mission may be requested.

If you are unable to sign the life certificate yourself because of illness, you need to ask your doctor to confirm this on the life certificate form.

Medical confirmation

If you are no longer in possession of a valid photo ID-document (e.g. passport driver's licence), you can obtain a photo card from the RTA. The German pension authorities accept this document as sufficient proof of ID.

You then have to send the completed and verified life certificate directly to your pension authority in Germany.
If you have any questions, please also contact your pension authority directly.

Information on the taxation of German pensions for individuals living outside Germany

Since 1 January 2005, new rules have applied to the taxation of pensions. Pensioners who are resident abroad are also affected by this. Neubrandenburg Tax Office is responsible for individuals whose place of residence or habitual abode is not in Germany, but who receive pension payments from Germany.

Finanzamt Neubrandenburg (RiA)
Postfach 110140
17041 Neubrandenburg
Tel. +49 395 44222  – 47000
Fax. + 49 395 44222 – 47100
E-Mail: ria@finanzamt-neubrandenburg.de
Webseite: www.finanzamt-neubrandenburg.

The tax office has launched a website  which explains in detail who is taxable, what is taxable and other questions. The website is available in English.

Please be advised that the Australian missions in Australia cannot answer any tax-related questions.

Death of a pensioner

When a beneficiary passes away the next of kin or executor of the estate must inform the Pension Authority without delay. The authority will then discontinue the payments.

The following information/documents are required by the German Pension Authority:

- death certificate of the beneficiary (if possible as original)
- date of birth
- name and file number of the Pension Authority
- name and contact details of the executor of the estate.

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

Please note that even after notification of the death it can still take several weeks until payments are stopped due to banking procedures. As many pensions are paid at the beginning of a month, overpayments occur regularly. The Pension Authority tries to retrieve the money from the account to which the pension was paid directly, or contacts the next of kin. If the pension was paid by cheque, you should not cash the cheques to which the pensioner was not entitled.

The insurance agency “Deutsche Rentenversicherung Oldenburg-Bremen” of the German statutory pension insurance scheme serves as liaison office for insured persons who have completed insurance periods in Australia or who live there.

Deutsche Rentenversicherung Oldenburg-Bremen
26112 Oldenburg
Ph: +49-441 927-0
Fax: +49-441 927-2880
email: info@drv-oldenburg-bremen.de

For further information please visit the website of the insurance agency:
Website of Deutsche Rentenversicherung Oldenburg-Bremen

Australian-German Welfare Society Sydney

The AGWS aims to support Australians with a German-speaking background. Our clients are mainly elderly migrants. Through regular meetings and outings we create an environment of trust and friendship, fighting loneliness and isolation so often connected to old age. Visits of those not able to join are organised by the AGWS. Furthermore, the AGWS certifies life certificates for German pension authorities and offers general advice about German pension matters.

Website of the Australian-German Welfare Society Sydney

Guideline of the German federal government regarding transitional payments to surviving spouses of victims of National Socialist injustice who received on-going benefits under the Federal Compensation Act until their death

The above-mentioned guideline has come into effect on 27th April 2021.
According to this guideline surviving spouses of victims of National Socialist injustice who died after 01st January 2020 and who, until their death, received on-going benefits under the Federal Compensation Act are entitled to receive financial benefits upon request for a transitional period of 9 months after the death of their spouse. The amount of these transitional payments is essentially based on the minimum pension under the Federal Compensation Act.

Responsible for implementing this guideline is the “Arbeitsgruppe Anerkennungsleistungen” (working group “recognition payments”) at Bundesamt für zentrale Dienste und offene Vermögensfragen (BADV)

For further information please contact the BADV directly: poststelle.uelrl@badv.bund.de

Pensions for former workers in a ghetto

For persons persecuted under National Socialism, periods of employment in a ghetto that was situated in a territory occupied by the German Reich or in a territory incorporated into it are under certain pre-conditions considered German contribution periods. From these periods a German pension can be paid also abroad. Please also note the new version of the directive on a payment in recognition of ghetto work; the deadline for applications has been abolished.

01_Revised ghetto work recognition guidelines

02_Information concerning the payment of amounts to victims of persecution in recognition of work in a ghetto which did not constitute forced labour

03_Application for a one-time pension substitution supplement

04_Information on the entitlement to German pensions for former workers in a ghetto

05_Information for persons who are already in receipt of a ZRBG pension

06_Claim for old-age pension for former ghetto workers residing outside Germany

07_Claim for widow's/widower's pension for survivors of former ghetto workers residing outside Germany

Publication: Compensation for National Socialist Injustice

Brochure of the Federal Ministry of Finance

Almost immediately after the end of the Second World War, it became clear that compensation needed to be provided to those who had suffered damage as a result of National Socialist injustice. Those who had suffered oppression due to their political opposition to National Socialism or on the grounds of race, religion or ideology were particularly affected.

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