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Social security insurance in Germany

© - MichaelSvoboda
© - MichaelSvoboda
German social security insurance is a statutory insurance system aimed at protecting you from major risks and their aftermath, such as illness, unemployment, old age, industrial injury and becoming care-dependent.

Health insurance, pension insurance, unemployment insurance etc are not centrally regulated within the EU – every country has its own system. However, there are some Europe-wide common rules to ensure your rights to social security, the so-called ‘EU Regulations’.


Germany operates on the principle of solidarity, where everyone pays into the various health insurance schemes and everyone can draw on this insurance as and when the need arises. When you have a regular job in Germany, you are automatically in a statutory insurance scheme, provided your income is below a certain limit. The cost of this insurance is divided between the employer and the employee. 


Social security insurance in Germany covers five sectors: 

  • Statutory health insurance § 5 SGB V 
    In Germany, health insurance is a legal requirement. If your monthly earnings exceed the statutory limit, you can choose to change to a private health insurance.
  • Statutory nursing care insurance §§ 20 f. SGB XI 
    In Germany, this nursing care insurance is linked to the statutory health insurance and is a legal requirement. 
  • Accident insurance § 2 SGB VII 
    All employees are covered by statutory accident insurance. If you have an accident at work or on your way to or from your place of work, you are covered.
  • Pension insurance §§ 1 f. SGB VI 
    In Germany, statutory pension insurance is a legal requirement for employees and self-employed artists (who are insured through the Künstlersozialkasse, the social insurance for artists). 
  • Unemployment insurance § 25 ff. SGB III 
    Unemployment insurance is a statutory requirement. Everyone employed (except for minor employment) is covered by unemployment insurance. This includes labourers as well as office workers or trainees.

Gepubliceerd: Wo, 30/11/2016 - 17:08

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