Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Social Security Agreement between India and Germany

Well, I did already in my one of the previous posts (India Pens Social Security Agreements), specified that India signed Social Security Agreement with Germany on October 8, 2008. This agreement is already in force from 1st October 2009 and EPFO India has already updated with the agreement details which I shall be briefing here.

The Social Security Agreement shall protect the interests of all those employees sent from Indian-based companies to their subsidiaries in Germany or those being sent by the German companies to their Indian subsidiaries on short-term contracts of 48 months with the possibility of extension by securing exemption from social security contribution in their host country. Thus these employees will only be subjected to the social security contributions in their home country.
The features and benefits of the Social Security Agreement:
- Detachment: The current agreement covers only the detachment provision which means the exemption from the social security contributions of the host country for the employees sent on posting provided the employee is making compulsory social contributions in the home country.
Eligibility for Detachment:
Indian National Working in Germany
Nature of Employment
Short-term Posting by an Indian Employer for a period of less than 48 months                  Indian System
Long-term Posting by an Indian Employer for a period of more than 48 months                  German System
Indian Employer hiring an Indian employee in Germany                 German System
Indian Employer hiring a Non-Indian Employee in Germany                German System
German Resident Working in India
Nature of Employment
Short-term Posting by a German Employer for a period of less than 48months                 German System
Long-term Posting by a German Employer for a period of more than 48months                 Indian System
German Employer hiring an Indian Employee in India                Indian System
German Employer hiring a non-Indian Employee in India                Indian System
Detachment Certificate: Detachment Certificate issued by the home country indicating the details of membership and coverage of the social security system needs to be accrued by the employee or employer on behalf of the employee being posted as a proof of exemption from the social security contributions in the host nation.
Period: The maximum period of detachment certificate is 48 months which shall be extended by 12 more months upon the request.
Eligibility for Detachment Certificate:
- employees who shall be posted to Germany on or after 1st October 2009 should apply for Detachment Certificate.
- those employees who are already posted in Germany or already working in Germany shall apply for Detachment Certificate from 1st October 2009 till the end of detachment.
Accruing Detachment Certificate:
EPFO, India:
Employer and Employee who is being posted to Germany needs to make a joint request to obtain the Detachment Certificate from EPFO (Employee Provident Fund Organisation), India. The application form can be downloaded from here.
The Liaison Agencies in Germany are:
Deutsche Verbindungsstelle Krankenversicherung – Ausland (DVKA)) 
The application for obtaining Detachment Certificate in Germany:
Please be noted that the social security agreement signed by India with Germany is limited only for Posting. The complete and elaborate social security agreements (Details at Social Security Agreements with Germany) which are more similar to other Contracting Nations is yet to be finalized between the two nations.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Social Security Agreements with Germany

Every nation has a different social security system, whereby every worker of a nation is subjected to some obligatory or voluntary social contributions to secure retired period of one’s life. The globalizations has increased the mobility of workers in different nations. In-order to dissolve the disadvantages for mobile workers in double payment of social security contributions, different nations have signed social security agreements and so did the Germany.


Contracting nations are those countries where the European Community provisions for the Social Security do not apply and have concluded social security agreements with Germany. According to the Deutsche Rentenversicherung Agency the following countries have concluded the agreements with the Germany - Australia, Bosnia Herzegovina, Canada/Quebec, Chile, Croatia, Israel, Japan, Macedonia, Montenegro, Morocco, Serbia, South Korea, Tunisia, Turkey and United States. China has also concluded a Posting of Workers Agreement. And recently India has also concluded Social Security Agreement which has already come into force.

What is a Social Security Agreement? The Social Security Agreement’s one important advantage is that if you satisfy the requirements of the minimum insurance period, Germany and your nation’s insurance periods are added together. The agreement specifies to which state you should pay your contributions when working in Germany and your nation.

To whom does the Agreement Apply? Many of the provisions of the agreements are applicable to you and to the nation of your permanent residence. It does provide some special provisions for the citizens of Germany and the agreed nation.

What does Social Security Agreement specify?

- Compulsory Insurance Obligation is defined by the state in which you are working. If you are employed in Germany, then you are subjected to Germany’s mandatory insurances irrespective of your nationality.

- Posting: If you are employed by your state and posted to work in Germany for a limited period not more than 60 months called Posting Period, then you are subjected to the compulsory insurances of your state and you are exempted from Germany’s compulsory Insurance Obligations. The exceptions to the limited posting period and some other exceptions to the agreed terms are subjected to agreement of German authorities upon the request filed by the employer and the employee. The Posting does apply to the self-employed people for a limited period. The same rule of Posting applies to those who are employed in Germany and work in the Contracting nations.

- Count of Posting Period: The Posting period in the contracting nation does count to your compulsory pension insurance i.e, if you are employed in your state and you are subjected to the compulsory insurance of your state and you are posted to Germany, then your posting period in Germany is counted towards your compulsory pension period in your state.

- Refund of Pension Contributions: If you are not a German national and if you were employed in Germany and paid for Pension contributions in Germany and decided to leave Germany forever, you can claim for the refund of Pension Contributions under the following circumstance

- you are no longer registered in the German pension system and you are not interested or not in a position to make voluntary contributions and 24 months have passed since you have terminated the registration.

- Basic Pension Requirements, benefits of Agreement:

Since the pension regulations vary from country to country and so does the pension age ranging from 60-67 in different countries, agreement helps you in benefiting from whatever the pension contributions you made either in your state or in Germany and if you do not fulfil the conditions in one country, the periods in another country shall be considered to make sure you indeed receive Pension.

The minimum insurance periods also known as Qualifying periods can be 5, 15 and 35 years. For all these periods, the insurance periods from your state are also calculated.

The Pension Amount: The agreement just helps in calculating the pension periods and meet the minimum pension requirements. The amounts of Pension you receive in Germany are solely on the basis of your German insurance periods. You need to claim separately for your state insurances and you claim those even thou you live in Germany or vice versa.

The point of contact for all of your queries regarding your insurances and entitlements in Germany are as follows:

Deutsche Rentenversicherung Bund: http://www.deutsche-rentenversicherung.de/

More detailed info in English at: http://www.deutsche-rentenversicherung.de/nn_97000/SharedDocs/en/Inhalt/06__formulare__info__broschueren/broschueren__friedemann.html

Sunday, March 14, 2010

My trials with Art

It has been long long time back, well, wen I was very young, I had tried my hands on painting. Infact, it was out of force than to be out of my natural instincts that I learnt painting as it was mandatory lessons. I dont remember, if I did paint or draw anything special, yet offlate suddenly a strange idea of re-inventing those instincts, has prompted me to try my hands on painting again. Well, the outcome was nothing special yet not bad thou.


I am just posting some pics of my trial paintings which after consultation with my hubby who decided to hang them on the wall of our living room. Thou not sure, yet they decorate our white living room wall. May be you guys can let me know are they worth enough to be out on the wall, just I need to buy some :-)


Frens, I just added one more painting to my trials with the art. Would love to hear from you all the feedback. By the way, many thanks for your lovely messages.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Alphabets Museum in Berlin – When Alphabets have History

Well many a times a word speak more than a sentence and many a times an alphabet speaks more than a word. And there are many alphabets which symbolizes and represent many things in our day-2-day life not only this modern world of shortcuts but also from the historic past. Thus some alphabets symbols have loads of stories behind to narrate. There has been many instances where an alphabet has symbolized different things in different sciences and technologies, different regions and as well in different cultures and religions.

I never realized this until recently when I found out about Alphabet Museum (Buchstaben Museum) from Berlin. After browsing thru it over the net, it indeed left me bewildered and amused at the very love for alphabets for the founders of Museum Barbara Dechant and Anja Schulze. Well, their quest to collect objects (alphabets) that carry significant meaning and their belief that modern urbanization is leading to the disappearance of these Alphabetical Semiotics has formed the foundation for the Alphabets Museum in Berlin. Kudos to both of them for their passion towards their letters.

2  3

U-Bahn U (Underground U)                    Einstein E

The museum is housed temporarily more like a storeroom than a showroom drawing a handful of enthusiastic visitors who heard more about this unusual museum from some news article or word of mouth and majority of them foreigners. The interesting facts that amuse the visitors are that these letters are taken out of the original context and every letter has its own emotional historic tale.

Well, I love to visit this during my next visit to Berlin. By the way there is no admission fee for this museum, it is completely free. The museum is run by the donations and memberships from the visitors. You can find more details at http://www.buchstabenmuseum.de/

Image Courtesy: http://www.buchstabenmuseum.de/