Taxes in Europe Database v2
Statutory health insurance: The legal foundations went into effect on 21 June 1883. They are to be found in Book V of the German Social Code (SGB V) and in the Farmers Health Insurance Act.
Statutory occupational accident insurance: Book VII of the Social Code (SGB VII) went into effect on 1 January 1997 and replaced the provisions in Book III of the Reich Insurance Coded tracing back to 9 July 1884.
Statutory pension insurance: Book VI of the German Social Code (SGB VI) dating from 1 January 1891
Statutory unemployment insurance: Book III of the German Social Code (SGB III). The insurance went into effect on 1 October 1927.
Statutory long-term care insurance: Book XI of the German Social Code (SGB XI) tracing back to 1 January 1995
Statutory health insurance, statutory pension insurance, statutory unemployment insurance and statutory long-term care insurance: tax rate, tax base and reliefs are set by central authority.
Statutory occupational accident insurance: tax rate and reliefs are set by social security whereas the tax base is set by central authority.
Federal Republic of Germany
Statutory health insurance, statutory pension insurance, statutory unemployment insurance and statutory long-term care insurance: rates and bases are identical.
Statutory occupational accident insurance: rates and bases are not identical.
Others: employers have to pay social security contributions for statutory occupational accident insurance which is a specific branch within the German social security system.
Additionally, employers do have to pay their share of the maternity benefit for an employee on maternity leave (in general six weeks before and eight weeks after confinement) as payments by statutory health insurance funds are limited to € 13 net average salary per day/€ 390 per month, respectively. Maternity benefit is calculated on the basis of the average take-home pay in the last three calendar months, or thirteen weeks, before the statutory period of maternity leave before the birth.
Statutory occupational accident insurance: employment income, income from business or self-employed activities, benefits in kind (company car, meal cheques, etc.) and income from occasional activities.
Statutory health insurance, statutory pension insurance, statutory unemployment insurance and statutory long-term care insurance: Basis of assessment is the employee's assessable income up to a defined contribution assessment limit which is adjusted in each year. Income beyond the contribution assessment limit is not subject to social security contributions.
Statutory health insurance and statutory long-term care insurance: In 2015, the contribution assessment limit totals €49,500 per year/€4,125 per month (2014: €48,600 per year/€4,050 per month).
Statutory pension insurance and statutory unemployment insurance: In 2015, the contribution assessment limit amounts to €72,600 per year/€6,050 per month for the old Länder (2014: €71,400 per year/€5,950 per month). For the new Länder the contribution assessment limit increased to €62,400 per year/€5,200.00 per month (2014: €60,000 per year/€5,000.00 per month).
Statutory occupational accident insurance: There is no upper limit. The upper limits for the various economic sectors are stipulated by the employers' liability funds. The kind of business/industry and the number of work accidents influence the contribution to be paid.
Statutory occupational accident insurance: A possible reduction depends on the kind of business/industry concerned and the number of work accidents.
Statutory pension insurance: Contribution rate of 18.7% (9.35% for the employer and 9.35% for the employee); contribution assessment limit for the old Länder: €72,600.00; contribution assessment limit for the new Länder: €62,400.00
Statutory unemployment insurance: Contribution rate of 3.0% (1.50% for the employer and 1.50% for the employee); contribution assessment limit for the old Länder: €72,600.00; contribution assessment limit for the new Länder: €62,400.00
Statutory health insurance: Contribution rate of 15.5% (7.3% for employer and 8,2% for the employee)
Others=Statutory long-term care insurance: Contribution rate of 2.35% (1.175% for the employer and 1.175% for the employee) Employees without children pay 0.25% additional contribution extra. Since a public holiday was abolished in all German Länder except for Saxony to help employers finance the long-term care insurance system, employers in Saxony only pay a rate of 0.675% whereas employees pay a rate of 1.675%.
Statutory occupational accident insurance: No standard contribution rate (average contribution rate in 2013 1.25% (2012: 1.30%) per each €100.00 of wage/salary). In contrast to the other insurances within the social security system, statutory occupational accident insurance is contribution-free for those insured. Contributions depending on the kind of business/industry concerned are only paid by employers.
On 1 January 2013, some new special regulations for employees in private households and industrial or commercial workforce in marginal employment with an income up to €450.00 per month (€5,400.00 per year) came into effect. The earnings limit for these employees rose from €400.00 to €450.00 per month. Since then, employees in marginal employment are in principle subject to insurance obligation in the statutory pension insurance scheme. On certain conditions, these employees are entitled to opt for exemption from mandatory coverage in the statutory pension insurance scheme. The other branches of social security insurance are contribution-free for employees in marginal employment. The employer has to deduct flat rate contributions .
Furthermore, there is a framework for employees with an income between €450.01 and €850.00 per month (€5,400.01 and €10,200.00 per year; so-called ‘earning within the sliding pay scale’). An employee with an income within this range has to pay standard SSC on a reduced basis so that part of the income is free of SSC deduction whereas the employer has to pay his share on the basis of the regular gross income.
Information on the regulations on marginal employment and earning within the sliding pay scale: www.minijob-zentrale.de
Statutory occupational accident insurance: Special surcharges are possible and depend on the kind of business/industry concerned and the number of work accidents.
Statutory health insurance, statutory pension insurance, statutory unemployment insurance and statutory long-term care insurance: Contributions have to be paid by the end of each month.
Statutory occupational accident insurance: Contributions are levied als annual allocations. The due dates vary highly between the individual insurance funds; they are appointed by the insurance funds.
Statutory health insurance, statutory pension insurance, statutory unemployment insurance, statutory long-term care insurance and statutory occupational accident insurance: All insurance funds are self-administered corporations under public law. They carry out their legally mandated tasks under government supervision but act independently in organisational and financial aspects.
Employers submit their contributions and the employees' contributions as an overall social insurance contribution to the health insurance funds (collection offices). The collection offices then forward the contributions designated for each branch of the social security system.
All contributions designated for statutory health insurance funds are forwarded to the national 'health fund' and redistributed from the 'health fund' to the individual insurance funds according to specific criteria set by the federal government.
Statutory health insurance:
In the Federal Republic of Germany around a 90% of the population is covered under statutory health insurance.
In principle, all employees are compulsorily insured under statutory health insurance if their gross pay exceeds €450 per month and does not exceed a defined upper limit. Insured persons are free to choose the health insurance fund they wish to be insured with.
Compulsorily insured are in particular:
Beyond this coverage since April 2007 all persons who are not protected in case of disease and who have been insured under statutory health insurance before the loss of protection are compulsorily insured. In case of disease also persons without protection who have not been insured in Germany at all (under statutory or private health insurance) will be compulsorily insured if they are - systematically - assigned to the statutory health insurance.
Additionally, many people carry voluntary health insurance (for example, the self-employed) or are insured as family members. The option to obtain voluntary insurance is in principle open only to those who were previously compulsorily insured or insured as a family member. Provided certain conditions are met, spouses or partners of the insured, as well as children, are covered as family members, with no need to pay contributions.
Statutory long-term care insurance:
Carriers of the social long-term care insurance are the long-term care insurance funds, which work under the institutional umbrella of the health insurance funds. This means that each health insurance fund has an affiliated care insurance fund.
Long-term care insurance is compulsory. The principle is: "long-term care insurance follows health insurance". This means that whoever is covered by statutory health insurance with
will also be a member of that fund's long-term care insurance scheme (statutory long-term care insurance). This also applies to family members of the insured, who are co-insured. People with private health insurance plans must also obtain a mandatory private long-term care insurance.
Employees who are voluntary members of the statutory health insurance scheme because their income exceeds the upper limit are still entitled to a supplement towards their contributions from their employer.
Statutory unemployment insurance:
In principle all persons gainfully employed above the insignificance limit are liable to contribute to statutory unemployment insurance. Trainees are also compulsorily insured against unemployment.
Exemption from compulsory insurance for certain groups: Certain groups of people are explicitly exempt from contributing to unemployment insurance, because they are not intended to be covered by this insurance (e.g. civil servants, soldiers or persons who reached their regular retirement age).
Statutory pension insurance:
The statutory pension system is mandatory for all employees and persons in vocational training. The statutory pension insurance provides old-age pension as well as survivors and disability insurance. Self-employed artists and members of the publishing professions may apply for insurance coverage under the Artists Social Welfare Act. The prerequisite for joining this scheme is a certain minimum annual income, although this requirement may be waived for newcomers to a profession.
Compulsorily insured are:
Farmers are not compulsorily insured under statutory pension insurance, but rather in the Farmers' Pension Fund. Civil servants are generally exempt from paying insurance contributions.
Statutory occupational accident insurance:
Every employee and trainee is covered by statutory occupational accident insurance. In industry and agriculture the employers' liability insurance funds (Berufsgenossenschaften) are responsible for accident insurance. Providing coverage in the public sector are the federal and state accident funds and other public sector accident funds. Coverage is provided for accidents at work or school or on the way to or from work or school - as well as for occupational diseases.
Statutory occupational accident insurance protects the following groups:
In the event of an occupational accident or occupational illness, statutory occupational accident insurance provides payments for full medical treatment, occupational integration assistance (including retraining if necessary), social integration assistance and supplementary assistance and cash benefits to the insured and their surviving dependants.
Sources: www.bmg.bund.de, www.deutsche-sozialversicherung.de.
Employees' compulsory contributions to social security insurances are displayed in the form 'Social security contributions (employees) a) Statutory health insurance b) Statutory pension insurance c) Statutory unemployment insurance d) Statutory long-term care insurance'.
As data mentioned above do not include social security contributions by self-employed and non-employed persons the following table gives some information (dated January 2015) on this category:
Annual tax revenue (EUR millions)
Tax revenue as % of GDP
Tax revenue as % of total tax revenue