Social security covers in Germany health insurance, pension schemes, unemployment benefit, accident and long-term care insurance.
SOCIAL INSURANCE COVERAGE (WHO HAS TO BE INSURED?)
Social insurance is usually mandatory for all employees in Germany. Therefore, reserachers who are employed in Germany via an employment contract take part in the full German social security system. Researchers on a fellowship are generally exempt from the obligation to pay contributionsto the German social security system. However, they normally have to be insured in a health insurance scheme.
Please refer to the sections below for detailed explanations.
Fellowship holders are generally exempt from the obligation to pay contributions to the German social security system.
The specific regulations in German residency law however require foreign nationals to demonstrate that they have purchased health insurance from a licensed health insurance provider in Germany in order to successfully apply for a residence permit. You will therefore generally be obliged to take out private health insurance before entering Germany unless you meet the exceptional circumstances for eligibility to purchase voluntary statutory health insurance as per § 9 SGB V.
For more information please see the "Health insurance" section.
If you conduct your research stay in Germany on the basis of an employment contract, you are subject to fixed statutory social security contributions. The employer and the employee each pay approximately half of the contributions which amount to a total of approximately 40% of your gross salary. The employee is also responsible for paying 0.9% of his or her gross salary in additional health insurance contributions (in the context of the general rate which has been fixed at 14.6 %). Employees without children must pay an additional contribution of 0.25% of their gross salary toward long-term care insurance in excess of the general rate of 2.35%. The employer is solely responsible for contributions to accident insurance.
As soon as you take up your post, your host institution will take the steps necessary to register you for insurance. You will be registered with the health insurance company ("Krankenkasse") of your choice which will then inform the other social security providers. Once registration has been completed you will receive your Insurance Number ("Versicherungsnummer") from the provider handling the pension scheme and a booklet proving that you are insured (“Versicherungsnachweisheft”) which you have to hand in to the host institution. The employer is responsible for paying the contributions and will deduct the sum at source.
ELEMENTS OF THE GERMAN SOCIAL SECURITY SYSTEM:
- Guide on the German social security system
Introduction of the basic principles and the branches of the German social security system
European Representation on behalf of the central German social insurance associations
- German Liaison Office for Health Insurance Abroad
Overview of countries with which international arrangements/agreements on social security exist as well as country profiles of these countries
Deutsche Verbindungsstelle Krankenversicherung – Ausland
- Guide on social security rights
Guide of the European Commission on social security rights in Germany
- EU Social Security Coordination
Explanation of the social security coordination within the Europoean Union