Stay based on an employment contract

If you conduct your research stay in Germany on the basis of an employment contract, you are subject to fixed statutory social security contributions, which together amount to approximately 40% of the gross salary. The employer is solely responsible for contributions to accident insurance. As soon as you have started your job, Paderborn University will take the steps necessary to register you for insurance.

If you have any questions regarding your social security status at Paderborn University, please contact the HR department.

The German system of social insurance includes:

  • health insurance
  • pension insurance
  • unemployment insurance
  • accident insurance
  • nursing insurance

If you are an employee of Paderborn University, you are obliged to pay social insurance and are therefore required to be a member of a health insurance scheme in Germany. This also applies to accompanying family members.

However, exceptionally, where there is a Social Security Agreement ("Sozialversicherungsabkommen") in place between Germany and your home country, the health insurance regulations of that country may continue to be applicable. Your health insurance provider or social security authority at home will confirm this using form number 1 or 101.

In Germany, there are private and statutory health insurances. Here, you can find out more about the differences. Generally speaking, it depends on the amount of your income whether you can take out a private health insurance, if you want to. (From 01 January 2018 on, up to a gross salary of 59,400 euros you must be insured by a statutory health insurance company.)

The general statutory health insurance rate is a standardised 14.6% of the gross salary. Employer and employee each cover a share of 7.3% of the insurance rate. However, statutory health insurance companies may charge a supplemental premium. Therefore, although the benefits of statutory health insurance are, for the most part, standardised it may be worth comparing the health insurance companies with each other.

Please note: If you are an employee of Paderborn University, you must inform the HR department which health insurance company you have chosen.

Citizens of EU/EEA states

If you need medical services during a short-term stay (e.g. attending a conference) in another EU country as well as in Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland, your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) is valid and you can have the costs reimbursed by your health insurance company.

If you are in Germany for a longer stay, e.g. for a visiting professorship or a research stay, and are covered by statutory health insurance in your home country, your local health insurance company will issue form S1 on application. This enables you and your family members to register with a German health insurance company.

More detailed information can be found here.

The "Deutsche Rentenversicherung"  (“statutory pension insurance scheme”, DRV) is part of the social security system in Germany. The scheme protects those insured and their families if their employment capacity is endangered or reduced, and when it ends due to age or death.

The statutory pension insurance is directly deducted from your gross salary. As a rule, the employer pays half of the contributions for the pension insurance, the employees the other half.

Under certain circumstances, your payments either entitle you to a later pension or, if this is not the case, you can have your contributions refunded.

In addition to the statutory pension scheme, there are occupational pension schemes. If you work in the German public sector, you are also insured in an occupational pension scheme (Zusatzversorgungskasse). Paderborn University usually registers its employees with the compulsory insurance VBLklassik. There are special regulations for academic employees. More information can be found here.

Further information:

Persons who worked immediately before becoming unemployed and have been employed for at least 12 months in the last two years are entitled to German unemployment benefit. Previous periods of employment from the EU member states EEA states and Switzerland may be taken into account. Unemployment insurance is deducted directly from your salary. The employer and the employee each pay half of the contributions.

Further information: Euraxess

More information can also be found on the website of the „Bundesagentur für Arbeit“ (Federal Employment Agency)

The accident insurance aims at covering accidents at work; it does not apply to private accidents.

The costs of statutory accident insurance are paid by the employer.

If you have a work-related accident, which also includes accidents on the way to and from Paderborn University, please inform the HR department as soon as possible. You can find more information here.

The statutory accident insurance does not apply to private accidents. Depending on your country of origin and type of research activity, it the statutory accident insurance of your home country may not continue to apply during your stay in Germany. Information on taking out additional private accident insurance and further information on statutory accident insurance can be found here.

The long-term care insurance ("Pflegeversicherung"), which is directly linked to and automatically taken out together with the health insurance cover, is also part of the statutory social security contributions. Long-term care insurance helps people who are in need of care and dependent on other people's assistance. The nursing insurance contributions are deducted directly from the gross salary.

Usually the employer pays half of the contributions for long-term care insurance, the employee the other half. The contributions cannot be refunded.

 Further information can be found here.

Social insurances such as health or pension insurance are required by law if you work with an employment contract at Paderborn University.

In addition, further insurance policies may be taken out, such as liability insurance (“Haftpflichtversicherung”), household contents insurance (Hausratversicherung) or occupational disability insurance (“Berufsunfähigkeitsversicherung”).

Especially the private liability insurance is very common in Germany. It pays for the damage caused to third parties by the unintentional actions of the insured person. Further information on optional insurance can be found here.