Social Insurances

What are they and why I need them?

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Germany has an efficient social security system which covers those who are insured against unemployment, illness, long-term health issues, occupational accidents and old age. In Germany, insurance regulations are set by the state. The benefits are paid (according to the regulations) by the so-called "Sozialversicherungsträgern" or social insurance providers, i.e. the health insurance companies, the trade associations, the Employment Office ("Arbeitsamt") and the German Pension Insurance ("Rentenversicherung").

What do I need to know?

Who is covered?

What is covered?

Can I choose my social security provider?

How much should I pay as my social security contribution?

What is a Social Security Card ("Sozialversicherungsausweis")?


If you find a job which entails social security contributions, your employer will register you for social security. To do so, he/she will ask you about your social security number, which you can find on your social security card. Don't forget to keep the card in a safe place. If you do not have a social security number yet, you will be sent one after an employer registers you.