Social security - Determining the insurance requirement (Status determination)
In terms of social security legislation, your work can be self-employment or dependent employment.
If there are doubts regarding the classification, employers or employees can apply for a "status determination procedure". It provides legal certainty for those involved and serves to determine the insurance requirement or otherwise.
German association of pension insurance companies (Deutschen Rentenversicherung Bund) - Clearing house
- It is not clear whether the activity or employment must be insured in the German statutory pension insurance scheme.
- You are an employee, self-employed, an employer or contractor
You must apply in writing. You can find the relevant form under "Forms & Online Services" or obtain it directly from your competent pension insurance agency.
Only the contract partners can apply for a status determination. These are:
- the contractor
- the client
- the employer and
- the employee.
Those involved can apply jointly or each party can apply separately for the procedure. They need not agree in their assessment of the gainful employment.
If the application is made by only one party, the other contract partner is automatically drawn into the administrative procedure.
You should answer the questions asked in the application in full and you should send the requested documents together with the application. You must describe the activity and the situation in detail, especially if you have not concluded any written contracts.
Both parties receive a binding decision on the status of the worker in the form of an official communication. If an employment relationship requiring the payment of social security contributions is ascertained, then there is an insurance requirement in all social security schemes.
The inquiry procedure at the clearing house is not necessary if a health insurance company has already carried out or initiated a procedure to determine the status of the worker, for example, with respect to a decision on voluntary insurance, or if the status has already been checked by a pension insurance agency as part of an audit.
You must append to the application copies of all contracts which are relevant to the existing contractual relationship, for example, contract relating to the activity as a freelancer or commercial agent, fee-based contract, training contract. Also, you should attach any existing additional agreements, amendment agreements or supplemental agreements.
The application should be made at the latest within one month of beginning the activity.
In the following cases, without an application being required, a decision is made on the existence of a working relationship on the initiative of the collecting agency (obligatory procedure to determine social security status):
- The employer declares for
- the spouse or the (registered) partner
- children, grandchildren or great grandchildren or
- managing partners of a limited company (GmbH).
The procedure is also concluded with a binding decision in the form of an official communication.
The German original version of this text was drafted in close cooperation with the relevant departments. The Deutsche Rentenversicherung released the full description on 18.08.2017. Only the German text is legally binding. The Federal State does not assume any liability for the translated texts.
In cases of doubt or if you have any questions or problems, please contact the relevant authorities directly.