Definitions of Artists’ Social Fund (KSK)

Artists' Social Fund

The artists’ social fund is unique in Europe and offers artists and publicists the chance to secure themselves socially with the help of affordable contributions. The prerequisites for being accepted are tight and not every freelance artist is accepted by the artist’s social security fund.

What is the Artists’ Social Security Fund?

The German Artists’ Social Insurance Fund (KSK) gives artists extremely cheap access to statutory long-term care, health and pension insurance. Unlike the voluntarily insured self-employed, KSK members only have to pay half of the social security contributions.

The artists’ social security fund in detail

The Artists’ Social Fund was founded in 1983 with the aim of enabling independent artists and publicists to take out statutory social insurance and thus to strengthen the freedom of the press. Since artists often only sell their works to a few buyers or publishers, they suffer a marketing disadvantage, which the KSK wanted to compensate for. Around 180,000 freelance artists and publicists are currently insured in the artists’ social insurance scheme, and the trend is rising. All those who have managed to be accepted by the KSK enjoy the advantage of only having to pay 50% of the contributions to statutory health, long-term care and pension insurance . As a result of this fact, KSK members are treated like ordinary employees in terms of social security law.

The fee is currently around one billion euros per year, although only half of this amount is raised by the artists themselves. 20 percent are paid by companies and publishers who use the services of artists. The remaining 30 percent is contributed by the state.

The artist social insurance as a health insurance for freelancers

In order to be accepted into the KSK as a freelancer , you must be self-employed and not only temporarily. The freelancer must also essentially carry out his artistic or journalistic activities in Germany and provide evidence of a minimum annual income of 3,900 euros. There is an exception in this context only for young professionals who are allowed to earn less in the first three years.

The benefits of the artists’ social fund

Despite the low contributions, the KSK benefits are very extensive and correspond to those of other compulsory insurances. The focus of the KSK are:

  • Payment of care allowance, sickness allowance and pension,
  • Early sick pay,
  • Accident insurance

Registration with the artists’ social insurance fund and the application process

In order to benefit from the services of the KSK, the artist or publicist must register with the artists’ social insurance fund in advance. In order for the registration to be successful, however, certain premises must be met.


In order to be accepted into the KSK, the artist or publicist not only has to generate at least 3,900 euros per year with his activity, but also has to meet other requirements. For example, the profession must be able to be assigned to the areas of art or journalism and it must also be carried out on a commercial basis. People who only carry out artistic activities temporarily cannot become members of the Artists’ Social Fund.

Artists are generally considered to be musicians and artists who create or teach performing or visual arts. This group also includes freelance writers, designers and journalists. It becomes more difficult in other professions, such as photographers, graphic artists, caricaturists or dance teachers. Although these groups of people are considered to be artists, they may not be able to take out insurance with the KSK. In addition, professional groups such as artisans, tattooists or florists are not considered artists. They are also denied access to the KSK.

Who can become a member?

As already mentioned above, the artists’ social security fund is for artists and publicists who earn their living with their work. Who exactly falls under the terms artist and publicist?

  • An artist is a person who creates music, visual and performing arts, empties them or practices them. This group includes, for example, make-up artists, game designers, audio designers and trick managers, to name just a few examples.
  • As publicists are called journalists and writers, since the year 2011 but also bloggers who publish their texts for free on sites that they own and are financed by advertising and contest the by selling advertising space living.

The following is a list from which you can see which professions can become a member of the Artists’ Social Fund.

activity activity activity activity
acrobat Figure skaters at ice show Librettist Assistant director
Action artist entertainer song writer Director
Solo entertainer Experimental artist Songwriter reporter
arranger Advertising / public relations specialist Light designer reciter
Art director Puppeteer painter Singer
artist filmmakers Puppeteer Singer performer
Audio designer Film and video editor Makeup artist actor
Instructor for publ./art. activity Photo designer Media designer writer
author Photographer (artistic) Media artist Showmaster
Ballet teacher Game designer Fashion designer Songwriter
Ballet master Foley Moderator Game designer
Ballet Dancers Storyteller Multi-media designer Game master
Photo reporter Graphic designer Musical advisor Speaker (radio, film, advertising)
sculptor Graphic artist Musical director Speaker educator (e.g. of actors)
Photo journalist editor Music editor Still photographer at film / television
Image director illustrator Musician Stuntman
Set designer Industrial designer Music teacher stylist
Stage painter Influencer Object maker Dubbing author
BĂĽttenspeaker Instrumental soloist mime Voice actor
choreographer Interface designer Performance artist Production designer
Choirmaster journalist Sculptor dancer
clown cabaret artist Press photographer Dance master
Colorist camera operator PR specialist Dance teacher
Comic artist Kapellmeister publicist Technical Editor
Comedian cartoonist Puppeteer Lyricist
Emcee comedian Journalistic translator Copywriter
cutter Communication designer Quiz master Textile designer
Designer composer editor Theater pedagogue
poet Concept artist Travesty actor mixer
conductor correspondent Animator Web designer
Disc jockey Costume designer translator Commercial photographer
Trainer critic Entertainers Advertising spokesperson
Dramaturge Layouter Author of adaptations Science journalist
Screenwriter Teacher for publ./art. activity Video artist wizard
Editor at the film Editor Make-up artist Illustrator

Artists' Social Fund