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Crazy German tax and insurance! Help!

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hey, i'm from australia, working here in germany (in bonn) technically as a volunteer, through GAP. and it took aaaaages to get all my work permits and stuff organised, and even longer to get payed!

however, on my pay statement-majig, it says i am paying -

krankenversicherung

rentenversicherung

arbeitslosversicherung and

pflegeversicherung

 

i am only earning 250 per month, and there is over 50 euros taken out for all these flopping insurances!

i am supposed to be a volunteer, and the school is supposed to just pay me 'pocket money' to live on, i'm not supposed to be treated as a full-time proper worker!!

 

so if anyone knows if this is right (germans are strange, and so i wouldnt be surprised if this is normal) could you please say. or if its not, any suggestions on how to go about fixing it?

 

thanks heaps!!!

LIL

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this must be wrong. on 250 bucks you qualify for a "minijob" and should be paying none of these

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Somethings wrong here, you can earn up to 360euro (it's maybe more now?) before paying for the things you mentioned. Speak to your employer(agency).

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I am not certain that I remembered this correctly but I thought my babysitter told me you can earn up to 400 Euros a week and not have to pay taxes.

I would definitely look into this.

 

good luck!

Yasmine

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You cannot earn 400 a week, you can earn 400 a month.

 

For a mini job, normally you wouldn't pay. If you had another full-time, full-paying job, all the insurances would come out of that and the extra "volunteer" one wouldn't be charged. But if necessary, your employer still has to cover you for insurance, you have to pay it out of that measly sum. I'm not 100% on the details, but I do remember reading something of the like in my health insurance magazine. Probably a lot of it you can claim back (good luck), maybe not, but if it's any comfort, think of it that if you break your leg, you will get treated.

 

Best bet, talk to your boss at the school.

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The pension part, if you pay in for less than 5 years, you get it all back after you leave !

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Hi,

"1. und 2. Gesetz moderne Dienstleistungen am Arbeitsmarkt (Harzt I & II)

14. Mini-Jobs

14.1 Anhebung der Geringfügigkeitsgrenze

Die Grenze für geringfügige Beschäftigung wird von 325 € auf 400 € monatlich angehoben. Der Arbeitgeber zahlt Pauschalabgaben in Höhe von 25%, die sich folgendermaßen aufgliedern:

12% Rentenversicherung

11% Krankenversicherung mit Aufstockungsoption für Arbeitnehmer

2% Pauschalsteuer mit Abgeltungswirkung (einschließlich Kirchensteuer. und Solidar-Zuschlag.)"

taken from https://www.arbeitsagentur.de/vam/?content=...jsp&docId=12811 Arbeitsamt website.

This law came into force in April 2003 - the deductions should be paid by the employer not the employee .

You can choose to pay more but are not obliged to.

I suggest that you either print off the section from the website and give it to the wages department (they may not be aware of the change) or go to the Arbeitsamt for help (and a few leaflets) - take your pay slip with you or try calling the Harzt Reform hotline on 01805-2200 (12 Cent per Minute on a landline) which is open from 7am to 10pm daily.

Katrina

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if you pay in for less than 5 years, you get it all back after you leave !

not if you come from a country that has a "treaty" with germany (which includes the entire EU but not oz, the US, etc)

 

what you get for your money is a fractional "pension" once you reach retirement age

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@ jordigo - I would check that, as I have just got the forms from the UK, saying although there is an agreement, it is not transfered to the UK after you leave.

 

So this means they must pay it to you from Germany ? Strange ! For less than 5 years in, it hardly seems worth it ! I have just started organising to pay additionally into the UK system, to at least keep my UK pension up to date.

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pepper: they pay you a pension from germany. but you actually have to go through the trouble of claiming it etc (and not forgetting about it when you near or hit retirement age)

 

I know this for a fact since my grandfather draws a german pension from having worked here for 3 years.

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that pension situation is a total swizz... i've spent the last few months trying to sort it out but still no joy... with private pensions it seems to get even more complicated as they try to tax you every time you change country of residence...freedom to work and travel within the eu, my arse... :angry:

 

i'm gonna talk to a financial advisor or two when i'm at home in ireland over xmas and see what they have to say... can anyone recommend a trustworthy, reasonably priced, (and maybe english speaking) financial advisor here in MUC... preferably one who understands the conept of living in a few different countries b4 settling down???

 

on another note, there was something on the news this morning about the upcoming tax reform... but i was still asleep and didn't understand a word of it... can anybody give me a quick 'executive summary' of what the reform will mean to me?

 

(mr. administrator, i know you are watching me :D ...time for a new thread???)

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@ noddy

 

The news this morning was just to say again, after already saying this, the tax reforms in Germany will go ahead, so we get to keep more of our money next year. The bad news is, I heard the Krankenversicherung is due to go up !

 

Although the reforms are not as originally anticipated, so you would get to keep that much !

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wow thanks everyone for all your help and info!!

 

i've already contacted my placement-organiser-dude from london and he's looking into it too. i would go and see the wages/accounts lady at my school but she is scary. so i'll wait til i have all the info before i have to make that visit!!

 

with the pension thing, i heard you have to be a german citizen to claim that back. which is silly, cos i dont understand why a non-german citizen should then have to pay it in the first place...??

 

naja... thanks again!! LIL

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My Ex is Bulgarian, and two friends of her's came to Munich to work for 3 years, and after they left, they got all the money they paid into the pension back again. It took a year, but got everything back !

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yes that makes sense, bulgaria probably sits in the no-treaty category until they join the EU

 

re tax reform: the actual figures can be found on http://www.sueddeutsche.de/wirtschaft/artikel/734/23711/

 

basically the tax reduction is about half of what it was going to be originally (I have already posted that somewhere) and the remainder of the tax cut then comes in at 1/1/05 (unless they change their minds again)

 

private krankenversicherung is going up, but some kassen are actually going down. shop around!

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>if you pay in for less than 5 years, you get it all back after you leave ! 

not if you come from a country that has a "treaty" with germany (which includes the entire EU but not oz, the US, etc)

 

what you get for your money is a fractional "pension" once you reach retirement age

umm I don't think this is right. The treaty that I know about involved more things like how long you had to work to be eligible for a pension and where you can live when you want to claim it. I know for a fact Australia has a "treaty" and Australians who have paid Rentenversicherung (pension) here for less than 5 years can claim their contributions (currently 9.55%) once they've been gone for 2 years. The treaty makes it possible to claim a regular german pension when you are 65 and living in Australia, even if you were employed here for less than 5 years. Without a treaty that option would be impossible.

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@ Bruce

 

Do you happen to know whether Australians who live in Germany are entitled to the standard Australian pension when they reach retirement age and have no other income? I´ve been here for the last 20 odd years.

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@ kanga

 

(Disclaimer: I'm not the expert, but I've read & rehashed this)

Germany and Australia signed an agreement which I think started 2003 or end of 2002 or so, so recheck anything you were told before that.

 

Bottom line is yes, you can now claim an Australian pension from germany - if you are eligible for it. There was even a bit for people who had already tried to claim being able to retry or somesuch. (note: Australian pensions are means tested)

 

Go to the bfa (bundesverwaltung fuer arbeit) (If you are in Toytown by Viktualienmarkt) and pick up the pink broschure on the treaty (which is even bilingual).

 

otherwise get surfing and go looking for centrelink in australia. You can find a link to it from the dfa site.

 

Good luck and when you're raking in the pension, I'll tell you about the commission ;)

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