5.1.4 Social security frameworks
Artists and journalists / authors in the Federal Republic of Germany enjoy comprehensive social security coverage. When employed, they are covered under the general social security regimes. Self-employed artists and journalists / authors are obliged to join the Artists' Social Insurance Fund (KSK). The special protection for self-employed artists and journalists / authors provided for under the Artists' Social Insurance Act (KSVG) which came into force on August 2nd, 1981 encompasses statutory health, long-term or old age care and pension insurance. Like employees, the artists and journalists / authors must only pay half of the social insurance contribution. Sixty percent of what could be labelled an "employers share" is paid by the companies that regularly exploit and market the work of artists and journalists / authors. To that effect, the enterprises are charged with an artists' social insurance levy (Künstlersozialabgabe) on all fees and royalties paid, whose level is subject to annual adjustments. For example, its level reached 5.8% in 2005 and then decreased in the following years to 3.9% in 2011.
In addition, the Federal Government provides a subsidy to help fund the supposed "employee's share" with 40% of the expenditures of the Artists' Social Insurance Fund. Through another amendment of the Artists' Social Security Law that came into effect in June 2007, the financial basis of the Fund was improved by broader coverage and a stricter examination of all contributors, including the artists as beneficiaries. In September 2008, the attempt of some Länder in the Bundesrat to abolish the Social Security Act for Artists failed, due to a broadly supported protest against such plans both from cultural policy makers of all parties and from culture and artists' associations.
See also comparative information provided in the Compendium "Themes!" section under "Status of Artists".