Social Security in Germany


Written by Germany Simplified

November 21, 2020

Here is everything you should know about Social Security in Germany. Germany is known for the social security it offers its citizens. Every individual that works in the German work force has contributed to Germany’s social security system. This collectively built financed system is made only to help the ones who need extra financial support to survive.

Germany has a very well-equipped social security system. The Government sees to it that people in the country can live comfortable even when they are disabled, sick, retired or unemployed. There are four parts of the social security system in Germany. They are: –

  • Health insurance
  • Unemployment
  • Long-age nursing care
  • Pensions

Every person who is a part of the workforce has to pay for all these four parts from their salary. An employee pays around 40% of their total salary. In most companies, employers offer to pay half of this amount. This means that the employer only has to pay 20% of their salary towards the elaborated social security system in Germany.

  • Statutory Health Insurance

Paying for the statutory health insurance is a mandate for all the employees working in Germany. Almost everyone is covered under the Statutory health insurance. The total number of people sum up to a good 90% of the entire country. There are two options you can choose rom for your health insurance: –

  • You can take a private health insurance.
  • You can continue being a part of the general Insurance scheme.

If you are self-employed and your income is more than 63,00 Euros a month, you can choose to take up private health insurance. If not, you are already covered under the general health insurance scheme. The health insurance covers hospital bills, dental care and cost of medicines that will be required for the treatment.

Contributing towards the Statutory health insurance also makes you redeem sick leaves and maternity benefits.

  • Unemployment Insurance

When you are employed in Germany, you are asked to pay a certain sum of money in order to redeem unemployment insurance when needed. You can use this money at the time when you are out of work.

An employee needs to pay nearly 2.4% of their total salary towards this insurance. The some can again be shared between the employer and the employee in 2 halves.

There are certain prerequisites you need to fulfil in order to get your unemployment insurance claimed if you are out of work in Germany. You can also make voluntary contributions to your unemployment insurance scheme if: –

  • You are employed anywhere outside Germany and outside the EU countries.
  • You are self-employed for more than 15 hours a week or more than three days a week.
  • You are on a parental leave for as long as beyond child’s third birthday.
  • You are studying or are on further occupational training.


  • Long Age Nursing Care

For the longest time, everyone who is employed in Germany has to contribute to the Long Age Nursing Care Insurance. This insurance covers your health ailments occurring in the old age, any accidents or major illnesses. If you are someone who holds a statutory health insurance in Germany, you are already covered under the log age nursing care insurance. In case you own a private health insurance, you will have to specifically apply for the Long Age Nursing Care insurance. This insurance is usually not covered in the private health insurance.

You need to contribute around 2-3% of your income each year towards this insurance. Like we have mentioned above, your employer can pay half of the amount towards this insurance too making it a whooping 1-1.5% your total gross salary. The ceiling amount of these contributions are about 4,700 Euros of your income a year.


  • Pension Insurance

If you are someone who works in Germany, you are paying for your pension insurance each year. You are obliged too. All the money that you put in each year builds up and becomes a pool of money. That money can provide you with a basic pension provision. If you are a tradesman or a freelancer, you are self-employed in Germany. Self-employed people can choose whether they want a statutory insurance or private insurance plan.

Every year, you are supposed to pay around 19% of your total salary towards your pension insurance for later. The ceiling price for your pension insurance being around 6,900 Euros.

The pension system is very well made in Germany. There are a few criteria one needs to fulfil in order to get their pension insurance but it is not much of a hassle.


  • Occupational Accident Insurance

This insurance covers any accidents or work place related illnesses that an employee catches while at work in Germany. If you are subject to any accident related to your occupation, you are covered under the occupational Accident Insurance irrespective of hoe much you get paid. This insurance also covers school kids and small children. If they get hurt in school, parents can get their children treated under this insurance.

If you are someone who is self-employed or are a part of the liberal profession workforce, you can remove a separate Occupational Accident Insurance for yourself and your spouse. This kind of insurance is voluntary.

In case you get hurt or ill due to your work place you can get covered fully under this insurance. It covers: –

  • Compensation for you and all those who are dependant upon you. (family members)
  • Payment for your entire treatment.
  • Training for your reintegration into your workforce when you recover.



The German Security System is highly beneficial for its citizens. Every penny that a German employee spends out of their salary towards their social security is utilized extremely well to make a pool of finances for the Germans who are in need of these securities.

 Read here to know more about working as a Freelancer in Germany.

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