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Retiring or claiming back social security premiums in Turkey

14th November 2017

For any person officially working in Turkey, the payment of social security premiums is compulsory. Social security covers the so-called “short term risks”, such as health problems, work accidents, occupational diseases and maternity assistance, and “long term risks” like disability, old age or death. 


 


The person liable to compulsory insurance deductions can retire after having worked/paid for a certain number of years depending on the age of first employment and the sex. 


 


There are situations though where it is impossible for the insured to retire. This problem often applies to foreigners who have worked in Turkey for a couple of years.


 


If Turkey has an agreement with the insured person’s state, it is possible to combine both employments/contribution periods and get a pension from both countries according to the time of contribution. Turkey currently has bilateral agreements with 28 countries for long term risks, of which 17 also cover short term risks. 


Turkey has both long and short term risk social security agreements with:


Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, Austria, France, Northern Cyprus, Macedonia, Azerbaijan, Romania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Czech Republic, Albania, Luxembourg, Croatia, Serbia, Italy and Montenegro. 


Social security agreements which only cover long term risks exist with:


United Kingdom, Switzerland, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Libya, Georgia, Canada, Quebec, Slovakia and Korea.


As the age of retirement in Turkey used to be very low until a couple of years ago, you may be entitled to a pension in Turkey long before you are in your home country. It is definitely worth getting advice from the Sosyal Güvenlik İl Müdürlüğü (Social Security Provincial Directorate) where you reside or last resided.


 


If there is no agreement between your country and Turkey or if you have been advised that there is no way for you to retire in Turkey, you may opt for a refund of your social security contributions. 


 


Who is eligible?


In order to be eligible for a refund you must fulfil certain conditions:


You must have reached the age of retirement (women: 58, men: 60 years of age)


You can’t be actively employed/self-employed in Turkey (or in another state which is a party in a social security agreement with Turkey)


In case a contributor dies before having reached the age of retirement it is possible for his/her legal inheritors to ask for a refund of the premiums.


 


How is the refund calculated?


As a general rule, only the share of the premium that covers long term risks is reimbursed. Former self-employed contributors get a full refund whereas former employees only receive a refund for the employee share, not for the employer’s one (premiums paid before 2008 are excluded from this rule, they are fully refunded).


There is no interest paid on the premium but the amount is updated every year in line with the consumer price index. (In practice this means that, for example, a contribution of 400 TL per month from 10 years ago may be worth 800 TL in 2017).


The reimbursed amount depends on a number of factors, so you won’t get any precise information on the sum to expect until you have actually made your claim.


 


How do I apply for a premium refund?


You have to present yourself at the Sosyal Güvenlik İl Müdürlüğü of the province where you reside with your TC / Foreigner ID number (Yabancı Kimlik numarası) and complete a claim form where you indicate the account number where you want the money transferred. 


The refund takes a couple of weeks.



Written by Annette HANİSCH - YellAli Consultant


Content by YellAli - (All Copyright is protected and owned by YellAli - This content may NOT be copied & distributed by another third party, unless appropriate accreditation is given). 



Turkish Residence Permit

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