According to European Union law, you are required to pay social security contributions in the country in which you are employed, i.e. Germany. In exceptional cases, you can apply to stay in the French social security scheme if you are only staying in Germany for a limited period of time and still have legally-binding relations to a French employer, e.g., you are on leave of absence and have the right to return to your position in France.
Only people who are employed are obliged to pay social security contributions. Those who have a fellowship are generally not liable to pay social security contributions.
In May, a German university intends to employ a researcher of Russian nationality, who is currently resident in Italy, for a period of 3-4 years. However, as she will be sent, or rather, delegated to a research centre in Switzerland for the duration of her contract she will not actually need to come to the German university. She will be resident in Switzerland. This raises some legal issues for us in respect of social security, tax and residence. In which state is she registered for tax and social security purposes? In which country does she acquire pension rights? How and where should she contribute towards her healthcare insurance? Does she actually need a German residence permit?
As a foreign national, you only need a work and residence permit for the country in which you reside in order to fulfil the obligations of your employment contract. The location of the employer's headquarters is irrelevant here. The researcher therefore only requires a residence permit for Switzerland and not for Germany. She is registered for tax, social security and healthcare insurance purposes in the country in which she carries out her employment, therefore in Switzerland. There is no requirement for her to be registered in Germany for tax or social security purposes. The German university should therefore pay her salary without deducting income tax.
The researcher is responsible for her own income tax affairs in Switzerland. In respect of social security it should be noted that she will be working for an employer not domiciled in Switzerland. Accordingly, the employee is responsible for the payment of any relevant social security contributions herself. In Switzerland this type of contribution is known as ANobAG ("Arbeitnehmer ohne beitragspflichtigen Arbeitgeber"). The salary should be paid to the researcher without deducting the employee’s social security contributions. The employer's share of the social security contributions that the employee is required to pay herself may be subsidised by an additional payment from the employer. Depending on the length of her employment in Switzerland, the researcher may acquire an entitlement to a Swiss pension.
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