Künstlersozialkasse for self-employed artists and publicists


The Künstlersozialversicherungsgesetz (KSVG) – or artists’ social security act – offers self-employed artists and publicists social security in connections with old-age pensions, health insurance and nursing care insurance. Similar to employees, eligible individuals will only have to pay half of the insurance premiums.

The other half is borne by the Künstlersozialkasse. The necessary funds are provided by the so-called “Verwerterabgabe” (utilization levy) and a federal government grant. The “Verwerterabgabe” is a tax paid by businesses that engage the services of artists and publicists. Such businesses include publishing houses and advertising agencies, for example, and they must pay this tax regardless of whether or not the contractor hired is a member of the KSK.


The Künstlersozialkasse (KSK) covers 50 % of a member’s contributions for pension schemes, health insurance and nursing care insurance. Members remain with the health insurance provider already signed up with. The KSK will verify that the individual is in fact affiliated with an occupational group that is subject to insurance deductions.

In the event that you fulfil the prerequisites and are deemed liable for insurance deductions, it will issue relevant notices with regard to the beginning, the scope and, where appropriate, the end of participation in a compulsory insurance programme.


“According to Article1 of the KSVG (artists’ social security act), the condition for participation in compulsory insurance is partaking in paid professional work in the arts or publishing in order to ensure one’s livelihood. The following criteria must be met: The individual must be a self-employed artist or publicist and carry out his or her work not just on a temporary basis. Additionally, this work must be carried out largely within Germany.
Generally, individuals who – similar to entrepreneurs – employ more than one employee, are not covered by insurance; nor are those who do not earn a set minimum annual income or those who belong to groups exempt from insurance in accordance with Articles 4 and 5 of the KSVG”