Self-employed artists and writers usually find themselves in financial and social circumstances similar to those of employees. They are reliant on cooperation with marketing and sales people and with users to ensure that their works and services are accessible to the consumer. Thus, since 1 January 1983, self-employed artists and writers have been included as mandatory members of the statutory health insurance and pension schemes under the Artists' Social Security Act (Künstlersozialversicherungsgesetz of 27 July 1981). Insurance coverage was extended on 1 January 1995 to include long-term care insurance.
Funding of the social security contributions is similar to that for employees. Under the Artists' Social Security Act, self-employed artists and writers pay only half of the contribution themselves. The 'employer' share is provided by the artists' social security levy paid by users and by a federal subsidy.
The Künstlersozialkasse (Artists' Social Security Fund) is the point of contact for all issues concerning artists' social security insurance. It provides advice to artists and writers and also users.
The fund determines who is entitled to artists' social security insurance and manages the funding. Among other things, it decides who must pay and who is exempt from paying insurance contributions, determines levy liability, receives insurees' contributions, artists' social security levy and the federal subsidy, and forwards contributions to the insurance providers. The Artists' Social Security Fund makes a range of detailed informational material available to the public.
Deutsche Rentenversicherung has conducted audits of employers' contributions to the artists' Social Security Fund since July 2007. Information on this can be obtained from the competent pension insurance provider.