Securing certain professional groups in the so-called “artist´s social insurance” or KSK in German (which today also includes web designers) leads to a special artist’s social insurance law.

With the artists’ social insurance since 1983, the independent artists and publicists have been included in the protection of social security. The peculiarity here is that artists and publicists only have to bear about half of their contributions themselves and are therefore similarly favorably placed as employees. The other half of the contribution will be financed by a federal subsidy and a tax on companies also finance artistic and journalistic achievements.

The Artist´s Social Insurance

The artists ‘social insurance law (KSVG) and the artists’ social insurance fund (KSK) is intended to ensure the same protection enjoyed by other employees, also for independent artists and publicists.

Those (KSVG and KSK) are not by themselves considered as a founding agency, as the contributions are only subventions to a previously freely chosen (by the contributors) health insurance, statuary pension or long-term insurance.

Independent artists and publicists, beneficiary of the German KSK, are entitled to the entire statutory catalog of benefits. However, they only need to pay independently half of the contributions; the other 20% is paid by the Federal Government and the rest 30% by the companies who received services or work from the artists and publicists.

The total amount of fee paid monthly by artists and publicists depends on the monthly income.

If this is not above a minimum limit of 3,900.00 EU per year, the KSK can generally not be used (exception: young professionals).

The KSK decides whether an applicant must be recognized as an independent artist (in the areas of music, performing or visual arts, including design) or as a publicist, and therefore eligible to use the artists’ social insurance.

The KSK calculates the contributions for its members, collects them and then forwards the total amount to the service providers of the pension, health and long-term care insurance.

The headquarter of the KSK is in Wilhelmshaven.

With this initiative, the state promotes artists and publicists who work independently, otherwise they will be indubitably less protected than other self-employed. This is not only a socio-political, but also a cultural-political achievement. Thanks to KSK the creative work of artists and publicists is now recognized as an important asset in our society.

Social contribution

With the introduction of the artists’ social insurance, any use of an artistic or journalistic service by a company or a consumer can be subject to social security contributions. The artist’s social contribution is payable for the use of independent artistic or journalistic services.

Artists and publicists

Self-employed artists and publicists are insured in the general pension insurance, in the statutory health insurance and in the social long-term care insurance, if they:


  1. carry out artistic or journalistic activities on a commercial basis and not only temporarily;
  2. do not employ more than one employee in any artistic or journalistic activity, unless the employment is for vocational training or is insignificant within the meaning of § 8 of the Fourth Book of the Social Code.


An artist is anyone who creates, practices or teaches music, performances or visual arts.

A publicist is anyone who, as a write (journalist or similar) works journalist or teaches journalism.