Expatriates are usually employed by a German company and therefore obliged to pay considerable amounts to the German pension scheme. Many countries do not have bilateral pension agreements (mostly NON-EU countries) with Germany, so these contributions can be claimed back under certain circumstances.
Foreigners working in Germany are obliged to make substantial contributions to the German Pension Plan. On the other hand depending on the nationality, the length of time worked in Germany and the average monthly salary, foreigners can qualify for up to five years worth of pension contributions refund. The emplyees part of the pension insurance contributions are usually worth 9,55 % of the gross-salary, so a refund will be a considerable amount.
A reclaim is only nessessary if you are resident in a non contracting state. These are all states of the world except for the EU-Coutries and the following countries which have bilateral pension agreement with Germany:
Australia,Croatia,Montenegro,Tunisia, Bosnia Herzegovina, Israel, Morocco, Turkey, Canada / Québec, Japan, Serbia, United States of America, Chile, Macedonia and South Corea
Example: An expatriat worked for 3 years in Germany with an annual gross salary of EUR 55,000. Due to the German Pension Plan a total amount of about EUR 15.000 have been withheld from the salary. A refund of such contributions can be applied under certain circimstances after 2 years past leaving of Germany.
A information brochure in English language issued from the German pension scheme will give you further information.