Time spent abroad

If you are not earning an income from professional activities in Germany, you may be exempt from paying contributions to the Pension Fund. However, since your pension entitlement depends solely on the actual contributions you pay in, we would like to remind you of the option to make voluntary contribution payments. If you are no longer required to pay a compulsory contribution, you still need to observe the minimum contribution amount. It may nevertheless be possible to pay this contribution on an intermittent basis. More information can be found under voluntary contributions.

If you are working in a European country outside of Germany temporarily for up to one year and provided that your employment relationship in Germany is continuing, you may be able to apply for a special authorisation certificate through your statutory health insurance provider in Germany (using form E 101). This authorisation means that the German legal regulations continue to apply, that you are still subject to social insurance contributions in Germany and you can continue to pay your pension contributions as before. At the end of the year, this special authorisation certificate can be extended under certain circumstances. The Deutsche Verbindungsstelle Krankenversicherung Ausland (German Liaison Office for Health Insurance Abroad) is the competent body for any periods longer than one year (up to a maximum of five years):

DVKA, Pennefeldweg 12 c, 53177 Bonn, Germany,

Phone: +49 (0)228 9530-0, Fax: +49 (0)228 9530-600,

Email: post@dvka.de, website: www.dvka.de

You cannot apply for a special authorisation certificate if you are initially planning to stay in a European country outside of Germany for an indefinite period of time or if your employment relationship in Germany has been terminated.

As a rule, workers abroad are subject to the insurance and social contribution regulations in the country in which they are working. You can, however, ask the relevant authorities if it is possible to be exempted from this compulsory insurance requirement. (However, this is usually only permitted in very rare cases). Normally, two separate pension pots are accrued. In accordance with EU Regulation 1408/71, attempts are being made to coordinate social security schemes in an effort to compensate for any possible disadvantages experienced during retirement by people who have worked in a European country outside of their own.