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I have a bit of a weird situation. I'm a Canadian citizen and legally employed in Germany under a Blue Card. My Blue Card expires in June and I plan on leaving to go live in the UK for a couple years to take advantage of the German pension refund scheme.

My lease ends at the same time as the date that I have to submit my resignation, three months before the date I leave Germany. For the last three months, I would like to live in Malaysia using the DN visa. From what I've researched, Malaysia and Germany have a double tax treaty so there are no issues on that front.

I fully plan on paying:

  • German income tax (I have a Steueridentifikationnummer)
  • German pension insurance (I've been paying pension insurance uninterrupted for 4y)
  • German health insurance
  • private health insurance
  • any other insurances I need to live in Malaysia

On the employer front:

  • I do NOT mind getting fired/let go because of this
  • I do NOT handle sensitive GDPR data; just code
  • I have a router VPN set up to reroute my IP to the city I live in Germany.

My manager and I generally have a "don't ask, don't tell" policy, so there will be no questions that arise. In emergency situations, I will fly to Germany and meet them in person.

I would do an Abmeldung in Germany so I wouldn't have a registered address. I plan on using the Deutsch Post rerouting service to reroute mails to my friends house. I would re-enter Germany a few days before the 90 day mark. I also want to point out that I absolutely am not trying to get out of paying German taxes/pension/healthcare. I just don't want to extend my lease and pay an extra few thousand in rent when I could live for a fraction of the price in Malaysia.

Legally speaking, am I allowed to do this? Assume that consequences related to employment are completely irrelevant.

2 Answers 2

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I see no problem with your plan.

You should consult with your health provider to make sure you are covered during the months spent in Malaysia.

Once you have settled down in the United Kingdom, a few months after the last payment, you should apply for an Account Clarification (Versicherungsverlauf). See first 2 links below.

You will then recieve a summary of all payments into the pension system.

Check that nothing is missing (including the last payment).

If anything is missing, then have it corrected.

This will then be the basis for any refund.

Sending a copy with your application for refund should insure that everything goes smoothly, since it will contain all required information needed for the application.

The required application form (specific for Australia, Canada and the United States) can be downloaded at the last link below.


Sources:

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  • Great, those links are quite helpful. However, a small snag appeared. I sent an email to my Bezirksamt and this is what they had to say: "wenn Sie aus einer Wohnung ausziehen und keine neue Wohnung im Inland, sind Sie gesetzlich dazu verpflichtet Ihre Wohnung abzumelden. Jedoch werden Sie denn automatisch beim Finanzamt, bei der Rentenversicherung und dem öffentlichen Rundfunk auch abgemeldet. " I had no idea that I would lose my tax and pension number if I deregistered, even though I was fully employed in DE. Does that seem right? Mar 18, 2023 at 11:28
  • @HaxOwnedBotReviews You won't loose the numbers. They will only inform both that you have left. If you still have an income in Germany you will still be required to pay the income tax (beschränkt steuerpflichtig as apposed to unbeschränkt einkommensteuerpflichtig). The pension and health payments are no longer required after the Anmeldung (and you have actually left). So your employer is not required, other than the tax, to deduct them if you show them the Abmeldung. Mar 18, 2023 at 11:57
  • I contacted the Bezirksamt once more and they said that once I deregister, i'm technically not allowed to work in Germany. I would need explicit written permission from the pension and tax authorities to keep paying into it. Mar 20, 2023 at 9:54
  • @HaxOwnedBotReviews I find that hard to believe. Ask you employers bookkeeper and they will no doubt confirm that for any salary they pay they must deduct the income tax. As stated previously pension and health payments are no longer required. Mar 20, 2023 at 10:14
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Might not be a full answer, but here is my take:

  1. Leaving for 90 days and properly returning is usually within the limits of "I'm on holiday", given you have the appropriate visa to do work in the country you want to move temporarily.
  2. However this only applies if you are still legally resident in your home country - Germany in this case.
  3. Therefore I would advise you not to send in the Abmeldung, which would deregister you from the German Social Care system, but to move your legal residence to your friend's address (even if you don't intend do live there at all).

However before you do that I would definitely ask the employer if they're okay with. You don't need to tell them the full story just something like "I'd like to take an extended holiday to country X, and work from there in the next couple months". Since you remain a resident in Germany the usual taxation should apply and not be an extra burden to your employer.

Do note that Malaysia might be too far away to make this work especially if you need to do a couple trips back to Germany. The cost of these trips might eat away any benefit very quickly. You might also want to look at countries closer to Germany like Poland, Czechia or Hungary. You could use your current Schengen visa to go and stay there for 90 days, and they might be cheaper as well than a full trip to Malaysia. Also the countryside in Germany is much less expensive than major cities, you might be able to simply move to a much more rural location for the remaining 3 months.

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  • Point 3 is a bad idea and serves no purpose, since no one will suffer sleepless nights because more was paid into the pension/health systems that was strictly required. The friend would have to sign a Wohnungsgeberbestätigung and doing so under false pretences could incur a fine up to €50000. Mar 17, 2023 at 9:36
  • @MarkJohnson Or the friends landlord.
    – gerrit
    Mar 17, 2023 at 10:05
  • @gerrit whoever signed to form. Mar 17, 2023 at 10:14
  • From what I've read is you sign out from all of your adresses you have signed out to be a resident in Germany, including potentially from their health care system, which will cause other problems.
    – SztupY
    Mar 17, 2023 at 13:28

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