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Measure Name
Date when measure came into force
Contribution rate to pension insurance (employees) 2013/01/01
2014 adjustment of contribution assessment limit 2014/01/01
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Generic Tax Name Social security contribution (Employees)
Tax name in the national language Sozialversicherungsabgaben (Arbeitnehmer) a) Gesetzliche Krankenversicherung b) Gesetzliche Rentenversicherung c) Gesetzliche Arbeitslosenversicherung d) Soziale Pflegeversicherung
Tax name in English Social security contributions (Employees) a) Statutory health insurance b) Statutory pension insurance c) Statutory unemployment insurance d) Statutory long-term care insurance
Member State DE-Germany
Tax in force since 1883/06/21
If abolished, date on which the tax ceases to apply
Business version date 2015/01/01
Version date 2015/02/17
This file was last updated on

Type of tax
Direct taxes Personal income tax
Corporate income tax
Other

Indirect taxes VAT
Excise duty (EU harmonised)
Alcoholic beverages
Energy products and electricity
Manufactured tobacco
Other

Social security contribution Employers
Employees
Other
 
Legal base

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 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

 
Who sets
The tax rate is set by




The tax base is set by




The reliefs are set by




Comments
 
Beneficiary





Comments
 
Geographical Scope

Federal Republic of Germany

 
Taxpayers
The base or rate of social security contributions paid by Employees on the income of employees and of blue collar workers Rates are identical
Bases are identical

Comments

Domestic-source income of non-residents is Subject to SSCer
Not Subject to SSCer

Comments


Comments
 
Tax object and basis of assessment
Employees pay social security contributions for








Comments

Others: employees have to pay social security contributions for statutory long-term care insurance which is a specific branch within the German social security system.

An employee on maternity leave (in general six weeks before and eight weeks after confinement) receives maternity benefit. As payments by statutory health insurance funds are limited to € 13 net average salary per day respectively € 390 per month the employer has to pay the top-up amount. 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. Maternity benefit is free of tax and social security deductions. The employee on maternity leave remains insured without paying statutory pension or health insurance contributions - as long as she paid compulsory contributions before, and has no other earnings that are subject to contributions.

Work-related illnesses and/or accidents are covered by the occupational accident insurance which is financed by the employers. As occupational accident insurance is contribution-free for employees it is not referred to in this document. You may find some information on this topic in the form 'Social security contributions (employers) a) Statutory health insurance b) Occupational accident insurance c) Statutory pension insurance d) Statutory unemployment insurance e) Statutory long-term care insurance'.


Base for all contributions listed here above is the same Yes No

As general rule, the income subject to Social Security Contributions of Employees includes























Comments

Income considered Domestic income
Worldwide income
Comments

Benefits in kind

The following benefits in kind are usually (partially or fully) subject to social security contributions paid by Employees












Comments


Comments

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 per month (2014: €60,000 per year/€5,000 per month).

 
Deductions, Allowances, Credits, Exemptions
Capped contributions No cap
Cap in monetary units:
Cap in % of the tax base:

Reduction

The reduction is
No reduction
A lump-sum amount
In percentage of base:
     
Based on salary
Capped
Comments

Allowances
The basic yearly allowance for an individual amounts to:
The basic yearly allowance for a couple amounts to:
Additional allowance for 1st child
Additional allowance for 2nd child
Additional allowance for 3rd child
Additional allowance for additional child
Additional allowance for old age dependents
Comments

Credits
The basic yearly credit for an individual amounts to:
The basic yearly credit for a couple amounts to:
Additional credit for 1st child
Additional credit for 2nd child
Additional credit for 3rd child
Additional credit for additional child
Additional credit for old age dependents

Social Security Contributions paid by Employees are tax deductible Yes No


Comments
 
Rate(s) Structure
The following rates apply to Social Security Contributions paid by Employees
Pensions
9.35 %  From 5,400.01  EUR/Natcur  To 72,600.00  EUR/Natcur
9.35 %  From 5,400.01  EUR/Natcur  To 62,400.00  EUR/Natcur

Health care
8.20 %  From 5,400.01  EUR/Natcur  To 49,500.00  EUR/Natcur

Unemployment
1.50 %  From 5,400.01  EUR/Natcur  To 72,600.00  EUR/Natcur
1.50 %  From 5,400.01  EUR/Natcur  To 62,400.00  EUR/Natcur

Child care

Work-related illnesses and/or accidents

Education leave

Maternity leave

Others
1.18 %  From 5,400.01  EUR/Natcur  To 49,500.00  EUR/Natcur

Comments

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%.

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


Special surcharges

There are special surcharges in the form of:


Comments
 
Tax due date

Contributions have to be paid by the end of each month.

 
Tax collector

Statutory health insurance, statutory pension insurance, statutory unemployment insurance and statutory long-term care 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.

 
Special features

 

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:

  • employees, including those undertaking vocational training for value,
  • recipients of unemployment benefit or unemployment assistance,
  • farmers and certain people connected with the agricultural enterprise,
  • artists and those in the publishing professions, in accordance with the Artists Social Welfare Act,
  • disabled persons employed at sheltered workshops and at institutions, homes or similar establishments,
  • university students, 
  • trainees, apprentices without remuneration and apprentices in second-chance education, 
  • old-age pensioners/pension applicants who have been insured for a specified length of time.

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

  • one of the local health insurance funds (AOK),
  • a substitute funds (Ersatzkasse),
  • one of the company health insurance funds (Betriebskrankenkasse),
  • one of the guild health insurance funds (Innungskrankenkasse),
  • one of the agricultural health insurance funds (Landwirtschaftliche Krankenkasse),
  • the German Pension Fund (Deutsche Rentenversicherung Knappschaft-Bahn-See)

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:   

  • in general all employees,  
  • trainees,  
  • certain groups of self-employed persons, such as master craftsmen (with the possibility of opting out), private teachers, midwives,  
  • people on military or civilian service,  
  • non-employed carers,
  • claimants of so-called income-replacement benefits, such as sickness benefit, unemployment benefit, cash benefits during sickness, transitional allowance and maintenance benefit, 
  • disabled persons working in sheltered workshops, and  
  • mothers or fathers during the initial child-raising period (for births from 1 January 1992 onwards up to three years, for births up to 31 December 1991 up to one year).   

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.

Sources: www.bmg.bund.de, www.deutsche-sozialversicherung.de.

 

 
Economic function







Comments
 
Environmental taxes



Comments
 
Tax revenue
ESA95 code d6112

Year
Annual tax revenue (millions)
Currency
Tax revenue as % of GDP
Tax revenue as % of total tax revenue
2012 170,562.00 EUR 6.19
2011 164,966.00 EUR 6.10
2010 155,283.00 EUR 6.02
2009 150,578.00 EUR 6.12
2008 151,905.00 EUR 5.93
2007 148,850.00 EUR 5.92
2006 147,311.00 EUR 6.16
2005 143,885.00 EUR 6.25
2004 143,334.00 EUR 6.31
2003 144,442.00 EUR 6.51
2002 141,995.00 EUR 6.43
2001 141,774.00 EUR 6.50
2000 139,788.00 EUR 6.61

Comments

Employers' compulsory contributions to social security insurances are displayed in the form 'Social security contributions (employers) a) Statutory health insurance b) Occupational accident insurance c) Statutory pension insurance d) Statutory unemployment insurance e) Statutory long-term care insurance'.

As occupational accident insurance is financed by the employers and therefore contribution-free for employees it is not referred to in this document. You may find some information on this topic in the form mentioned above.

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:

Year

Annual tax revenue (EUR millions)

Tax revenue as % of GDP

Tax revenue as % of total tax revenue

2012

70,964.00

2.58

6.76

2011

70,639.00

2.62

6.97

2010

71,107.00

2.76

7.45

2009

72,701.00

2.96

7.71

2008

68,583.00

2.68

7.05

2007

67,441.00

2.69

7.13

2006

70,757.00

2.96

7.86

2005

71,760.00

3.12

8.36

2004

70,972.00

3.13

8.37

2003

68,206.00

3.08

8.05

2002

68,222.00

3.09

8.16

2001

64,116.00

2.95

7.67

2000

63,081.00

2.98

7.39