In Germany, people are covered by the so-called social insurance system. Social insurance assists them in emergency situations. These include illness, unemployment, old age and need for nursing care. The contributions to the system are dependent upon one’s income. We give you a brief overview with 3 main facts for each social insurance:
The general contribution rate, which applies among other things for contributions paid out of income from employment and pensions, has been 14.6% since 1 January 2015.
Statutory health insurance provides for you and your family in case of illness. It pays for necessary medical treatment.
You are compulsorily insured as an employee if your regular gross income from employment exceeds
€450 per month and is below the compulsory insurance income limit (Jahresarbeitsentgeltgrenze)
Employers & employees normally each pay half of the current contribution rate (18.6% as of 1 January 2019).
Statutory pension insurance provides: Old-age pensions, reduced earning
and survivor’s pensions (pensions on account of the insured person’s death).
With few exceptions, all employees are compulsory insured in statutory pension insurance. The contribution assessment ceiling in general statutory pension insurance for 2020 is €6,900 a month in western and €6,450 in eastern
An employer’s contribution level is determined by the sum total of employee annual pay and by the accident risk level. Employees, children in school, students, etc. do not pay contributions themselves
Statutory accident insurance protects you and your family against the consequences of accidents at work and occupational diseases. In addition, it contributes towards the prevention of occupational accidents, occupational diseases and work-related health hazards.
You should notify your employer immediately if you ever have an accident at work or on the way to
The contributions are normally paid by employees as well as employers. Their respective share of the contributions depends on the current
contribution rate (2.5% of gross pay since 2019).
The statutory unemployment insurance provides payment of income replacement benefits such as unemployment benefit.
The maximum contribution is set by a contribution assessment ceiling. The monthly limits in 2020 are €6,900 in western Germany and €6,450 in eastern Germany.
Since 1 January 2019, the contribution rate has been 3.05% of assessable income. The rate for contribution payers without children is 3.3%.
The long-term care insurance provides you, if you ever need long-term care. Your financial situation has no effect upon your entitlement.
The general rule is that you must have long-term care insurance to match your health insurance. If you have statutory health insurance then you automatically have social long-term care insurance as well.
If your job in Germany is subject to social security contributions, your employer is required to register you with the statutory social security providers (unemployment, pension, health, disability care and accident insurance). Your employer’s HR department should do this automati-cally as soon as you start your job – provided that you and your family have registered with a German health insurance company. Your first pay slip will state the amount you and your employer are pay-ing in social security contributions. This makes it easy for you to check that your employer has actually registered you.
Keep in mind that social insurance in Germany is very closely linked to private insurance. Especially in the health insurance there are many possible combinations or even a complete private health insurance, which can replace the statutory health insurance under certain circumstances. We explain the insurance products that could be important for you and we also explain why they could be important for you.
For more information about the social security system in Germany you can download the following file. Beside some useless facts you will find on the 184 pages a lot of very interesting information about child benefit, waiting periods, social welfare, housing benefit and so on (fortunately there is a search function). Have fun with it.