Social security covers 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. People having an employment contract in Germany take part in the full 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.
In Germany, fellows do not receive a salary in the sense of § 14 of Book IV of the German Social Code, hence no social security contributions are payable.
If you are going to work abroad in the context of a fellowship programme you should first find out whether you are exempt from statutory social security ("Sozialversicherungspflicht") - which may be the case in Germany under certain circumstances. The fellow status does not include any insurance coverage. However, sufficient health insurance coverage is required by law, which means that fellows must take out (statutory or private) insurance for themselves.
If you are going to work abroad on the basis of an employment contract you are not exempt from statutory social security. In general, if your stay abroad is within the scope of a secondment abroad and you remain in an employment relationship in Germany, you continue to be subject to German laws. If you begin a new employment relationship abroad, the social security regulations of the host country normally apply.
Should you have an employment relationship in Germany and abroad, it is necessary to clarify the focus of activity when checking in which country you have to be insured with (indications are: integration into the corporate organisation, the requirement to observe instructions as well as the payment of your salary).
Problems may arise in the event of temporary stays abroad due to these aspects (e.g. in the form of gaps in payments into a pension scheme). To avoid this, the German legislator has passed § 4 SGB IV that provides for extension of the German Social Code to secondments abroad.
ELEMENTS OF THE SOCIAL SECURITY SYSTEM:
- Health insurance
- Pension scheme
- Unemployment insurance
- Accident insurance
- Long-term care insurance
- Optional insurance schemes
- Secondments abroad
Information for employees who are temporarily sent abroad within the framework of their German employment. Country-specific forms and instructions as well as information on responsible contact persons.
Deutsche Verbindungsstelle Krankenversicherung - Ausland (in German)
- EURAXESS - The European Services Network
EURAXESS Services is a network of over 500 centres located more than 40 European countries. As a researcher, these centres assist you and your family to plan and organise your stay in a foreign country.
- EURAXESS Worldwide
Networking tool for European researchers, scientists and scholars abroad. EURAXESS Worldwide exists in ASEAN, Latin America & the Caribbean, China, India, Korea, Japan, Australia & New Zealand and North America. It keeps European researchers in these regions fully informed of EU research policies, career opportunities in Europe and opportunities for collaboration with Europe. In addition to e-mail alerts, an e-newsletter and the web forum, networking events are organised on a regular basis.
EU Social Security Coordination
Explanation of the social security coordination within the Europoean Union