I have a pension from Germany - what do I need to know?

Click on your question about your pension from Germany (Deutsche Rente), and read the answer.

  • What is a pension from Germany?
    A pension from Germany is a pension that you have accrued in Germany. You will usually receive this pension from Germany, but you could receive it through a Dutch insurer if you have transferred your pension from Germany to that insurer. For that reason, you do not necessarily receive this pension literally from Germany.
  • What German pension do I have?
    The 4 types of German pensions are:
    • statutory pension
      This is a pension under German social insurance legislation, for example:
      • Altersrente (comparable to the Dutch old-age pension)
      • German surviving relatives' pension
    • state pension
      You will receive this pension if you have worked for the German government.
    • company pension
      You will receive this pension if you have worked for a German company.
    • annuity payment
      This is a payment from an annuity insurance policy.
  • I live in the Netherlands - where do I declare my German pension?
    You declare your German pension in the Netherlands. You do not have to file a tax return in Germany if you ask the German tax authorities for permission. Information on how this works is given at In which country should I declare my German pension?
  • In which country do I pay tax on my German pension?
    You usually pay tax in the Netherlands on your pension, annuity or social security payment from Germany. In some cases, you will be required to pay tax on your German pension in Germany.
  • I pay tax in Germany - which part of my pension is tax-free?
    You pay tax in Germany in the following situations:
    • You receive a German state pension and are not a Dutch national. Please note! A VBL annuity is not a state pension but a company pension from the Versorgungsanstalt des Bundes und der Länder (VBL) for former employees of the German state.
    • The total amount of your German pensions, annuities and social security payments is more than € 15,000. 
      Please note! Your state pension is not included in this calculation.
    • You receive a lump-sum refund of a pension or annuity from Germany.

    Do you have any questions? If so, please call Cross-border Work and Business Team (GWO) (Dutch).

    Your state pension is partly tax-free in Germany

    Your first pension year determines the percentage of your statutory pension that is tax-free in Germany. Based on this percentage, the German tax authorities calculate your tax-free amount in the first full pension year. The table below shows what percentage of your statutory pension is tax-free in Germany after your 1st pension year.

    Table: tax-free share of statutory pension
    1st pension year Tax-free portion
    2016 28%
    2017 26%
    2018 24%
    2019 22%
    2020 20%
    2021 19%

    From 2021 onwards, the German tax authorities will reduce the tax-free share by 1% each year.

    Your company pension may also be partly tax-free in Germany

    Do you pay tax on your company pension in Germany, and do you receive this company pension in addition to your state pension? If so, your company pension is also partly tax-free.

    The amount of the tax-free portion depends on:

    • the type of supplementary pension
    • the year in which the company pension commenced
    • your age at the time when you first received the pension

    More information is given on the website of Finanzamt Neubrandenburg.

  • I have not received an annual statement - can I apply for one?
    Usually, you receive an annual statement from your German pension fund. Have you not received an annual statement? For 'Versichertenrenten' you can request an annual statement from the Deutsche Renteversicherung (DRV). Insurance annuities are, for example, an (early) retirement pension or an incapacity benefit.
  • Do I have to pay national insurance contributions and healthcare insurance contributions?

    If you live in the Netherlands, you will have to pay the following national insurance contributions in your pension from Germany:

    • State pension insurance scheme (AOW)
    • Surviving dependents' pension insurance scheme (Anw)
    • Long-Term Care Act (Wlz)
    • Healthcare insurance contributions (Zvw)

    In the following situations, you will be compulsorily insured in the Netherlands:

    • You only have a pension from Germany.
    • In addition to your German pension, you also have Dutch income, such as state pension or wages.

    How much national insurance contribution do you pay?

    The national insurance contributions are equal to a fixed percentage of your contribution base. Check how much contribution you pay (Dutch only).

    How much healthcare insurance contribution do you pay?

    The income-related healthcare insurance contribution is equal to a fixed percentage of your contribution income. Check how much healthcare insurance contribution you pay (Dutch only).

    Do you want to pay less or no national insurance or healthcare insurance contributions?

    This is possible in the following situations:

    • You already received a pension from Germany before 1 May 2010 and are still paying all your national contributions in Germany. In this case, you do not pay national insurance or healthcare insurance contribution if you have been a cross-border worker. However, you will have to pay national insurance contributions if you receive an AOW state pension in addition to your German pension.
    • You have been exempted from the obligation to take out insurance (Dutch only) for the state pension and the Surviving dependants' pension insurance scheme. You then only pay contributions for the Long-Term Care Act and healthcare insurance.
    • You have reached state pension age (Dutch only). In this case, you no longer have to pay contributions under the State Pension Insurance Scheme. In this case, you only need to pay the contribution under the Surviving dependant’s pension insurance scheme, the Long-Term Care Act contribution and healthcare insurance contribution.
    • You only receive a pension from Germany and have compulsory healthcare insurance in Germany. In this case, you do not have to pay the contribution for the Surviving dependant’s pension insurance scheme and healthcare insurance contribution. Go to the website of the Social Insurance Bank (SVB) and apply for an exemption (Dutch only) under these schemes.

    Apply for a tax allowance in Germany

    If you live in the Netherlands, you may apply for an tax allowance for the contribution for the Surviving dependant’s pension insurance scheme and healthcare insurance contribution in Germany. Download the 'Antrag auf Zulage'grensinfopunt.nl (Dutch only). Complete the form and submit it to the Deutsche Rentenversicherung (DRV) (German only).

    However, you must meet all of the following conditions:

    • You filed a return over the year your tax allowance application relates to.
    • You stated your German pension in your return.
    • You have received a final assessment concerning your income tax / national insurance contributions.
    • You have received an healthcare insurance contribution assessment.

    Once we have forwarded your details, you will automatically receive notification from the DRV. It is responsible for calculating the tax allowance and paying it to you. Should you have questions, please contact the DRV (German only).