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Registering for social security for self-employed artists and publicists

Self-employed artists and publicists are compulsorily insured through the Artists' Social Insurance Fund (KSK) in the statutory pension, health and long-term care insurance. In order to be admitted, you must register with the artists' social security fund.

According to the Artists' Social Insurance Act (KSVG), you are an artist if you create, practice or teach music, performing or visual arts. You are considered a publicist if you are a writer, journalist or journalist or similarly active in journalism or teach journalism.

You have to pay monthly contributions to the KSK. Calculation factors for the payment of contributions are:

  • the expected income from self-employment in the arts or journalism, and
  • the contribution rates for each class of insurance.

Due to the fluctuating income situation in the case of self-employment, the monthly income is not used as a basis for calculating the monthly insurance premiums. Instead, the expected annual income from self-employed artistic or publishing activities is the basis for calculation.
However, the expected income from self-employed artistic or journalistic activities must exceed 3,900 euros per year (marginal income threshold).
Exceptions apply, for example, to young professionals: As such, you will be insured under the Artists' Social Insurance Act even if your income from work is unlikely to exceed the marginal income threshold.
If you are insured with the KSK, you only pay 50 percent of the contribution of the statutory pension, health and long-term care insurance to the KSK. The other half of the contribution is paid by the federal government as well as companies or clients (e.g. galleries, publishing houses, broadcasters or concert promoters) who exploit artistic and journalistic services and have to pay a so-called artists' social security contribution for this.
Self-employed persons who are compulsorily insured are entitled to the same benefits from the statutory health insurance fund in the event of incapacity for work as employees. This means that a self-employed person receives sickness benefit payment from the health insurance company from the seventh week of incapacity for work.

The Artists' Social Insurance Act provides for various exceptions to the obligation to take out insurance. For further information, please contact the KSK.

Process flow

You must register in writing or orally with the Artists' Social Insurance Fund:

  • The questionnaire for the examination of the insurance obligation for artists and publicists, instructions for filling in the form and information leaflets can be downloaded from the KSK website. Please fill it out and send it to the KSK.
  • You will receive an unsolicited confirmation of receipt of your documents from the KSK.
  • If all insurance requirements are met, the KSK will issue a notice of determination. The KSK registers you with the statutory health or long-term care insurance fund of your choice and with the data centre of the pension insurance provider.
  • The obligation to be insured under the Artists' Social Insurance Act begins on the day on which the application is received by the KSK. If you are unable to work at the time of registration with the KSK, the obligation to insure does not begin until you return to work.
  • The insurance obligation ends on the day on which you cease your self-employed artistic or journalistic activity. You are therefore obliged to notify the KSK immediately of any change in your activities.


As a self-employed artist and publicist, you will generally be insured if you:

  • carry out the artistic or journalistic activity on a commercial basis and not only temporarily, and
  • do not employ more than one employee in connection with the artistic or journalistic activity. Exception: The employment is for vocational training or is marginal.

Which documents are required?

  • Questionnaire for the examination of compulsory insurance for artists and publicists
  • Proof of activity: current contracts with clients or invoices, invoices and bank receipts.
  • Other supporting documents: advertising material, proof of artistic or journalistic training, certificate of membership in professional interest groups, photocopy of your identity card/passport with current confirmation of registration
  • if you are already a member of a statutory health insurance company: membership certificate from the health insurance company. Otherwise, a provisional certificate from the chosen health insurance company
  • if you are raising or have brought up a child:
    • Copy of your child's birth certificate
    • Proof of parental status

What are the fees?

  • Registration: none
  • Monthly contribution: 50 percent share of statutory pension, health and long-term care insurance

What deadlines do I have to pay attention to?

As soon as you meet the requirements for admission to the KSK as a self-employed artist or publicist, you must submit the application.

Processing duration

Depending on the investigative effort: 3 to 6 months

Applications / forms

  • Forms: see link
  • Online procedure possible: no
  • Written form required: yes
  • Personal appearance required: no.

What else should I know?

  • For the first six weeks of incapacity for work, you can arrange an earlier entitlement to sickness benefit from your health insurance company within the framework of optional tariffs for an additional contribution.
  • On the one hand, self-employed artists or publicists may be entitled to the benefits of the Artists' Social Insurance Act, while on the other hand, they may also be required to pay the artists' social security contribution if they regularly place commissions with other self-employed artists or publicists.

Technically approved by

Artists' Social Security Fund

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The text was automatically translated based on the German content.

Source: Serviceportal Niedersachsen (Portalverbund des Bundes und der Länder)