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I have just moved to Berlin, Germany, due to my work and at the past I have been working in the UK for 2 years.

There seem to be ignorance about this topic from the people that I have asked, so here is my question:

Does anyone know about the process that I need to follow in order to transfer my previous scheme here? Literally, I do not want to lose these years when I will be close to my retirement and get my previous working years identified into the final retirement.

Please take also on board that I am coming from another EU country, which means that I may transfer it again at the next 5-10-30 years.

  • Can you tell us which EU country you are from? Also were you looking after children for those 2 years in the UK. And were you in the UK for your education between 16 and 18? – Vagish Aug 24 '14 at 22:26
  • Also what type of insurance do you have in the UK? – SztupY Aug 25 '14 at 0:24
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  • @vagish I am coming from Greece and I don't have any children. I was nothinking in the UK between 16-18 yearso old. Thanks! – thitami Aug 25 '14 at 6:04
  • @SztupY I have had the standard State Pension from my employer. I am a Software Engineer, if that also helps. – thitami Aug 25 '14 at 12:20
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If you only have state pension you don't really need to do anything if you stay in the EU when you retire.

Once you reach the retirement age in the country you have last worked (which might be different to the one where you are resident, in case you never worked there), then they will calculate your pension based on two different ways:

Option 1: National rate

This means they will calculate how much pension you'd receive in each of the countries if you'd never worked in any other country, and sum these together. So if you have 10 years of UK coverage 5 years of Spanish and 20 years of German they would calculate how much you'd receive in the UK after 10 years, how much you'd receive in Spain after 5 and how much would you get in Germany for 20.

Now, this amount might actually be 0, as in most countries you have to work for many years before you are entitled for state pension. That's why there is option 2:

Option 2: EU-equivalent rate

This means they will assume you have worked in each country the total amount of time (in our example 35 years), and will check how much you'd get in each of the countries for 35 years of coverage, and will calcualte the actual amount pro-rata.

After calculating how much you'd get for each option, you will get the one which is the higher.

You can find more info about this EU scheme on europa.eu.

The above only applies for state pensions, and you have to retire in the EU.

You might also have some other kind of pensions, for example in the UK it is common that you also get some kind of Workplace Pension Scheme. These schemes have their own regulations on how you can get your money. See this answer for more info. You might also have some kind of supplementary state pension, for which this EU rule applies.

  • Great and well informative answer, SztupY! Does this mean that I need a document from each of my previous employers, for employment period? How should the state that I will retire in, that I worked these years in the UK and thereafter to Germany? – thitami Aug 25 '14 at 19:04
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    @thitami: based on the EU site "That country is then responsible for processing your claim and bringing together records of your contributions from all the countries you worked in." So you don't need to do anything (apart from telling them where you worked). The only exception they have if you have worked in a country for less than a year, as in that case the country might not have enough information about you. – SztupY Aug 25 '14 at 21:56
  • When I inquired (long time ago), the German rule was that you needed to work 15 years to get any state pension. However, as soon as you worked 15 years anywhere in the EU, German state pension would pay for your German years. – gnasher729 Aug 17 '15 at 8:24

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