Eva ShirleyContact by email
Being employed in Germany means a number of bureaucratic steps and letters and forms from a range of institutions. Even before you arrive, you will need to fill out a number of forms and will be asked to provide a number of details. To find out more, please see the information below.
Usually you will receive your tax ID, which is valid for life, after you have registered your address at the Bürgerbüro [lit. citizens' office]. As it will arrive via post a couple of weeks after registering, please make sure that your name is on your letter box. Once you have your tax ID, please let your HR contact person know. Sometimes, you will receive a lower first salary than expected. This is usually the case when the LBV [Landesamt für Besoldung und Versorgung] does not have all the relevant information yet and puts you into Steuerklasse VI [tax bracket], which has a lot of deductions. However, once this has been rectified, you should receive the money that is owed.
Should you be working from abroad at first, you will need to apply for a tax ID. Please get in touch with us for further information.
LBV – Landesamt für
Besoldung und Versorgung
The LBV, or Landesamt für Besoldung und Versorgung NRW [State Office for Remuneration and Supply North Rhine-Westphalia], is responsible for calculating and paying the salaries of all employees of the state, or Land North Rhine-Westphalia. The University of Siegen is amongst the public universities in Germany, which make up for approximately 90 % of the university landscape. Public universities being state-funded, employees will be paid by the respective State Office for Remuneration and Supply. For the University of Siegen, this is the LBV NRW. For this reason you will need to fill out a number of forms for the LBV when being employed by the University, and receive your payslips (see below) from the LBV, too.
There is a social security system in place in Germany, which encompasses health insurance, pension schemes, unemployment benefit, accident and long-term care insurance. Contributions to these five social insurances are deducted monthly from your wages. The height of the contribution depends on your gross wages. The University as your employer also pays an additional amount into the respective schemes.
Having registered your address, you will receive a so-called Sozialversicherungsausweis [social security ID] by post from the Deutsche Rentenversicherung. This number is valid your entire life, so please keep this document. Even though the word "Ausweis" might lead you to expect a card or similar, the piece of paper is all you need. Should you lose your document, please contact the Rentenversicherung to apply for a replacement. This number is particularly important with regard to pension entitlements at a later point in life. Please be aware that while the health insurance is a part of the social security system, you will be given a separate number and also a health insurance card from your insurance provider.
Pension insurance [Rentenversicherung]
The Rentenversicherung, or pension insurance, is part of the social security system in Germany. All employees who are subject to social security contributions automatically pay into the pension insurance. It is not possible to free yourself from paying these contributions. For information regarding the additional pension scheme from the VBL, please see below.
You can find information on pension entitlements from other EU countries here. For individual questions, you can get in touch with firstname.lastname@example.org.
UK nationals can find additional information on pension entitlemens in the UK here.
VBL – Versorgungsanstalt
des Bundes und der Länder
The VBL, or Versorgungsanstalt des Bundes und der Länder is an insurance company that provides occupational pensions for the public sector, to which the University belongs. Usually, you will be automatically registered for the VBL klassik pension scheme. Contributions for employees are at 1.81 % of the taxable income, while the employer pays an additional 6.45 %. As eligbility is reached only after 5 years (or 60 months) of employment in total, the VBL also allows researchers with short-term contracts to opt for the VBL extrascheme within the first two months of employment. For a good overview and additional differences between the schemes, please watch thevideo for "Scientific employees" or visit the VBL website.
As the VBL has very recently changed its website, there is very little content in English available at present. Please find further information in the following PDFs:
» Information on the company
» Information sheet for newly insured persons
» VBL extra
» Information sheet for researchers and scientists. You can also get further, more personalised information through the VBL webcasts.
Receiving your first payslip can be very confusing and you might not know where to begin to find out what information is given. Luckily, we can offer you a cheat sheet to understand your payslip.