Veterans' Transition Review

Barry_Trotter

Old-Salt
I would like to try and explain the unemployment benefit system which is operating in Germany at the moment. This is only from my personal experience and information that I have received from the Bundesagentur für Arbeit (BFA). Circumstances may be different for other Service personnel wishing to stay here.

I will admit, I was mostly at fault because I was following the out of date guide to Living and working in Germany. I should have checked for a recent updated version.

Under the German Laws, ex-Service personnel need to register with their BFA in the area they wish to settle three months before their termination date. I registered 1 month before, and that really peeved them off.

The Germans will not initiate AG 1 (Unemployment benefit) until they are in receipt of a statement of National Insurance contributions.

National Insurance: statement of National Insurance contributions (CA3916) - Publications - GOV.UK

The underlying problem is that this form cannot be completed without the P60, and as stated on the Government website, this can take up to 6 weeks before you receive the statement of National Insurance contributions. .

Luckily the BFA in my area were a little more understanding, (after my wife flipped out) and they backdated the payments to my leaving date.

The AG 1 is only payable for 12 months. There are other circumstances where this can be extended to 18 months or 2 years, however I did not fall into these criteria. Once the AG 1 expires, the BFA no longer has responsibility for the person, they are transferred to the German equivalent of the Job Centre. (There is a big misconception with ex-pats who think that the BFA is the Job Centre.)

To then qualify for any social support an appointment is arranged and they want to look into your financial liquidity state. If you lie, you are subjected to heavy fines, prosecution and in extreme cases, imprisonment.

The benefits from the Job Centre are called Hertz IV (H4). This is also a minefield. (Typical German Bureaucratics.)

They want to see all of your assets, bank statements and savings accounts (including International accounts). Before people are eligible for H4 they must use their savings first.

I went to the appointment and here is an example of the questions they asked;

1. Do you have a mortgage, own or rent a property? Answer; own (automatically not eligible for H4)

2. Do you have a German or International bank account? Answer; International.

3. Where is the account and how much money do you have? Answer; That is none of your business (automatically not eligible for H4.)

4. Do you have an income? Answer; yes, my Army pension.

5. How much? Around £447 pro month. (automatically not eligible for H4 as that is only €450 pro month.)

6. Are you married? Answer; yes.

7. Is your wife working or has an income? Answer; yes she has an income, but what has that to do with my situation? (Spouses are responsible for each other.)

8. How much does your wife earn and how much savings has she? Answer; That is something you will need to ask her.

9. We did and she refused to give us any information. (anything over €900 pro month automatically not eligible for H4.)

10. Have you children, if yes, how old? Answer; yes, two, 22 years and 24 years old. ( automatically not eligible for Kindergeld.)

We will be in touch.

4 weeks later I received a letter in the post "Sorry Mr Trotter, but you are not entitled to any Social security benefits. If your circumstances change, please do not hesitate to contact this office.

If the proposed new law goes through the German parliament, then ex-pats, who want to stay in Germany, with no assets will have at maximum 18 months before all benefits will stop and Germany will actively look at sending them back to their countries of origin to claim welfare there.

On the plus side, I don't pay Tax any-more!!! :D
 
Last edited:

C_B_C

Crow
The most difficult part is to decide what to do next.

I just left the Infantry as a Captain. It's worth mentioning that I moved abroad to a country that doesn't hold military personnel in high regard like we do in the UK, US, Australia and Canada.

My main question is... what career paths out there match our skills? Especially if you're role wasn't technical.

Project Manager?
Business Development Manager (possibly too customer and sales focused for our experience)?
Other ideas?

I'd be interested to hear opinions.

CBC
 
The most difficult part is to decide what to do next.

I just left the Infantry as a Captain. It's worth mentioning that I moved abroad to a country that doesn't hold military personnel in high regard like we do in the UK, US, Australia and Canada.

My main question is... what career paths out there match our skills? Especially if you're role wasn't technical.

Project Manager?
Business Development Manager (possibly too customer and sales focused for our experience)?
Other ideas?

I'd be interested to hear opinions.

CBC
The well trodden path lies to the City young man!
As an Infanteer who came out years ago I fell into recruitment, another area where organisational and people skills are needed. But having advised many in the same position as you look hard at Project Management and organisational management, there are many corporates who value the Military skill sets.
BDM roles are available but you might be channeled down the defence route although they are getting a bit thin on the ground unless you have a technical bent.
Look at NGO opportunities with HALO, MAG and overseas slots with KBR?
I would suggest you head up and network at the Liquid List or look at the scope of roles coming out of the Officers Association and The List.
You have such better advice now than we SSC types did back in the 80s then it was Towry Law, The City or sales my boy as you get on with people!
 

New Posts

Latest Threads

Top