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Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Kindertransport

The ‘Kindertransport’ brought groups of children to the UK from Germany, Austria, Poland and Czechoslovakia just before World War II. Those who remained in the UK paid towards a UK State Pension and could benefit from legislation introduced in 2008.

More about the Kindertransport Children

The Kindertransport children came to the UK as refugees, having been stripped of German nationality.

They either remained in the UK or went to other countries, including the USA and Canada.

What happened to those who stayed in Britain?

Those who remained in the UK became UK citizens and paid insurance towards a UK State Pension.

The new UK National Insurance Scheme started on 5 July 1948.

Many people who had become insured under the old UK insurance scheme before 1948 were credited with insurance up to this start date.

What has Germany done for the Kindertransportees?

In the early 1990s, Germany decided to give the Kindertransportees a German state pension.

People with no history of German insurance had to take back German nationality and make a voluntary contribution to the German state pension scheme.

They were also given periods that counted as insurance towards a German state pension entitlement.

This was either from age 14 or from 1939 (whichever was later) up to 31 December 1949.

Changes to the Kindertransportees' pensions

For some people, the time spent paying into the UK insurance scheme system before 1948 resulted in a reduction of their German pension.

This was due to European Community social security rules on how periods of insurance in different countries affect each other.

The UK Pensions Act 2008 stopped this happening by removing the overlapping period of UK insurance before 1948, but only on request.

This means that, in many cases, the German state pension will be more, but the basic UK State Pension will stay the same as now.

Who could benefit?

You may be able to benefit if both of the following statements are true:

  • you came to the UK on or before 31 May 1940 from Germany, Austria, Czechoslovakia or Poland
  • you have a German state pension entitlement which is reduced or extinguished by UK insurance prior to 6 April 1948

Surviving wives or husbands may also be able to benefit.

The children of anyone who might have been affected may also benefit, depending on how long ago their parent died.

If you think you are affected by these changes, contact the International Pension Centre:

International Pension Centre
Tyneview Park
Newcastle upon Tyne
NE98 1BA
United Kingdom

Telephone: 0191 21 87777 or +44 191 21 87777 (if you are calling from outside the UK)

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