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Germany Individual - Significant developments

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Social security contributions

As of 1 January 2019, the income ceiling for mandatory pension insurance has increased from 78,000 euros (EUR) to EUR 80,400 (EUR 73,800 in the new federal states). The increase of the contribution ceiling is also applicable to unemployment insurance.

Additionally, the income ceiling for mandatory health and long-term care insurance increased from EUR 53,100 to EUR 54,450.

As of 1 January 2019, the contribution rate to German state unemployment insurance was reduced from 3.0% to 2.5%, whereas the rate for nursery care insurance was increased from 2.55% to 3.05%. The contribution rate to the health insurance system was fixed at 14.6% and the rate for pension insurance was kept at 18.6%. All mentioned rates are shared equally between employer and employee.

Planned partial abolition of solidarity surcharge tax

On 20 August 2019, the German government proposed a bill for the partial abolition of the solidarity surcharge tax. Based on the draft law, as of 2021, no solidarity surcharge should be levied for individuals filing separately and having an income tax burden of not more than EUR 16,956 (approximately equivalent to a gross income of EUR 73,874) as well as for married filing jointly taxpayers with an income tax burden of not more than EUR 33,912 (approximately equivalent to a gross income of EUR 151,990). Where the aforementioned thresholds are exceeded, a sliding scale applies so that the current 5.5% solidarity surcharge would eventually only apply in full for individuals filing separately and having a gross income of approximately EUR 109,451 or approximately EUR 221,375, respectively, for a married filing jointly couple with two children where only one spouse is the earner.


Last Reviewed - 25 August 2019

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