Social security for self-employed artists and publicists, registration

As an artist or publicist, you can register for social security via the Artists’ Social Security Fund (KSK).

Description

Self-employed artists and publicists are insured by obligation in the statutory pension, sickness and nursing care insurance schemes via the Artists’ Social Security Fund (KSK). In order to be included, you must register with the Artists’ Social Security Fund. 

According to the Artists’ Social Security Act (KSVG), you are an artist if you create, perform or teach music or performing or visual arts. You are classed as a publicist if you work as a writer or jour-nalist or in another area of publishing or if you teach journalism.

You must pay monthly contributions to the KSK. The following factors are used to calculate the contributions

  • prospective earnings from work as a self-employed art-ist or publicist, and
  • the contribution rates for individual classes of insurance.

Due to the fluctuating income levels inherent in self-employed work, monthly insurance contributions are not determined on the basis of monthly income. Instead, prospective annual earnings from work as a self-employed artist or publicist are used as the basis for the calculation. 

However, prospective earnings from work as a self-employed artist or publicist must exceed EUR 3 900 per year (marginal earnings threshold).

There are exceptions, for example, for people who have recently joined the profession: As such, you will be insured under the Artists’ Social Security Act, even if your earnings do not exceed the marginal earnings threshold. 

If you are insured with the KSK, you only pay the KSK 50 percent of the contribution for the statutory pension, sickness and nursing care insurance schemes. The other half of the contribution is paid by the federal government and by companies or clients (for example, galleries, publishing houses, broadcasting organisations or concert organisers) that use artistic and publishing services and are thus obliged to pay an artists’ social security tax.

A self-employed person, insured by obligation, who is unfit for work is entitled to the same benefits from the statutory sickness insurance fund as an employed person. A self-employed person will thus receive a sickness benefit from the sickness insurance fund from the seventh week of his unfitness for work.

The Artists’ Social Security Act sets out various exemptions from the insurance obligation. Further information is available from the KSK.

Important instructions for service providers

  • Für freie Journalistinnen und Journalisten/Pressefotografinnen/Pressefotografen besteht eine Versicherungspflicht in der Künstlersozialkasse. In den ersten drei Jahren der Berufsausübung muss kein bestimmter Gewinn erzielt werden. Danach muss ein Mindestgewinn von € 3.900,00 jährlich bzw. € 325,00 monatlich erzielt werden. Die Versicherung in der Künstlersozialkasse führt dazu, dass der Journalist in der Renten-/Kranken- und Pflegeversicherung pflichtversichert ist. Eine Arbeitslosenversicherung besteht nicht, Beiträge hierzu müssen nicht gezahlt werden.

Prerequisites

As a self-employed artist or publicist, you are in principle insured if you

  • work as an artist or publicist for commercial purposes and not merely temporarily, and
  • do not employ more than one person in connection with your work as an artist or publicist. Exception: The employment is for the purpose of vocational training or is marginal in nature.

Procedure

You need to register with the Artists’ Social Security Fund in writing or in person:

  • You can download the questionnaire for assessing the insurance obligation for artists and publicists, as well as instructions on how to fill it out and further information, from the KSK website. Please fill it out and send it to the KSK.
  • The KSK will automatically send you acknowledgment of receipt of your documents.
  • If all the insurance requirements have been met, the KSK will issue a notice of assessment. The KSK will register you with the statutory sickness and/or nursing care insurance fund of your choice and with the data office of the pension insurance institute.
  • The insurance obligation under the Artists’ Social Security Act begins on the day the KSK receives your application. If you are unfit for work when you register with the KSK, the insurance obligation will not begin until you are once again fit for work.
  • The insurance obligation will end on the day you stop working as a self-employed artist or publicist. You are therefore obliged to inform KSK immediately of any change of activity.

Special notes

You can arrange an earlier entitlement to sickness benefits with your sickness insurance fund for the first six weeks’ unfitness for work in return for an additional contribution under a supplementary tariff. Please consult your sickness insurance fund for further details.

Self-employed artists or publicists may be entitled to benefits under the Artists’ Social Security Act, while at the same time being called on to pay the artists’ social security tax as well, if they regularly commission work from other self-employed artists or publicists.

Deadlines

As a self-employed artist or publicist, you must apply to register with the KSK as soon as you meet the requirements for inclusion.

Processing time

Depending on the complexity of the assessment: 3 to 6 months

Required documents

  • Required Documents

    • Questionnaire assessing the insurance obligation for artists and publicists
    • Proof of work: current contracts with clients or statements, invoices and bank receipts.
    • Further supporting documents: advertising material, proof of training as an artist or publicist, certificate of membership of professional interest groups, photocopy of your ID card/passport with current certificate of registration
    • if you are already a member of a statutory sickness insurance fund: certificate of membership of the sickness insurance fund. Otherwise, a provisional certificate from the chosen sickness insurance fund
    • if you are raising or have raised a child:
      • a copy of your child’s birth certificate
      • evidence of parenthood

Forms

Fees

    • Registration: none
    • Monthly contribution: 50 percent share to the statutory pension, sickness and nursing care insurance schemes

Status: 06.05.2021

Responsible for editing: Künstlersozialkasse

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