General information
Education and work of social carers
Long-term care and social workers
Social protection system of elderly people in general
Computer and Internet skills of the general population
  • General information




    Total population


    81 843 743

    Proportion of population



    Aged 65-79 years






    Aged 80 years and more






    Old-age dependency ratio












    Old-age dependency ratio projections









    Life expectancy at birth, years









    Life expectancy at age 65, years









    Healthy life years expectancy at birth









    Duration of working life, years









    Employment rate of older workers aged 55 to 64, total




  • Long-term care and the situation of social workers



    Long-term care

    Basic principles

    Statutory long-term care insurance:

    In 1995 the long-term care insurance was codified into the Social Code (Sozialgesetzbuch), comparable to the risks concerning sickness, accident, unemployment and old-age insurance. It is a contribution financed compulsory independent social insurance scheme, in accordance with compulsory affiliation and sickness insurance limits. The long-term care insurance is according to its basic idea and its legal form only a ‘core protection system’.

    Furthermore the possibility for a voluntary additional insurance for long-term care is given to every citizen. The statutory long-term care includes two independent parts next to each other - social (SPV) and private long-term care insurance (PPV), which are both compulsory insurances with identical benefits. No financial compensation between the two compulsory insurance schemes, there is a financial compensation regulated by law only within the respective schemes (SPV, PPV).

    Social assistance: tax financed. Beneficiaries incapable of work in need of care, who cannot help themselves and do not receive assistance from other persons, are entitled to care assistance.

    Long-term care

    Field of application

    Statutory long-term care insurance:

    Nearly the entire population is insured through one of the two compulsory insurance schemes. Basic principle: ‘long-term care insurance follows sickness insurance’. Every person that is insured with the statutory sickness insurance is automatically insured with the social long-term care insurance. Persons who are insured with a private sickness insurance concerning the risk of sickness with entitlement to general hospital services have to conclude a respective insurance to cover long-term care.

    Social assistance: every person who fulfils the requirements. 

    Organisation of Long-term care

    Informal caregivers and professional providers

    Service guarantee for long-term care insurance funds
    The long-term care insurance fund as an insurance company of statutory service guarantee must ensure an appropriate long-term care of the insured persons in the framework of providing the benefits. As these funds do not maintain their own facilities and services they conclude care and remuneration contracts with single care persons and the insurance institutions managing nursing homes and out-patient care services. Every care facility which fulfils the admission requirement is legally entitled to be admitted to carry out care services. That is why facilities of local, non-profit or private ownership cooperate next to each other.
    There are also so called low-threshold care services, where volunteers under professional guidance temporarily provide long-term care for persons in need at their homes or in groups.
    Financing system of the long-term care infrastructureLänder are responsible for provision and investment financing of the care facilities; the ongoing operating and care costs are to be paid by the persons in need of long-term care or their financing institutions.

    Social assistance: providers of care assistance are institutions of social assistance.

    Informal caregivers: persons who are taking care of a person in need of long-term care in their home environment on a non-professional basis (e.g. relatives, neighbours, friends).

    Professional providers: integration of care providers by authorisation in a form of care contracts
    The basis for the authorisation to provide care services is the so called ‘care contract’. It regulates the benefits in kind and personal services that the insured persons can legally claim, and is concluded between the care funds and the provider of outpatient as well as residential care.

    Prospective compensation rate. The contractual provisions in the care contract are binding for all parties concerned, especially in the prospective orientated compensation negotiations as ceiling for the compensation. The (agreed) charges per day have to be economic and performance related, a retroactive reimbursement of costs is not possible. The person in need of care has to pay the compensation parts that exceed the benefits of the long-term care insurance as well as the costs for lodging and board (in certain circumstances investment costs as well).

    Quality assurance: all authorised care facilities have to guarantee high quality, decent and activating care and supervision.

    Long-term care

    Benefits for the carer

    Statutory long-term care insurance:

    Payment of pension insurance contributions for caring family members and other informal carers by the long-term care insurance. A protection without contribution is also provided for these persons by the accident insurance. Contributions to the statutory pension insurance are also paid during the carer’s holidays.

    Employees in companies with at least 15 employees have an entitlement to unpaid leave for up to 6 months in order to take care of a relative (so-called care time). As a general rule, their family health insurance continues in this time and the pension-insurance continues via the long-term care insurance fund. The entitlement from the unemployment insurance remains because of the contributions of the long-term care insurance fund. The contributions for health insurance and long-term care insurance are borne by the long-term care insurance fund up to the minimum contribution amount if necessary.
    If a person suddenly becomes dependent on long-term care, employees can stay away from work at short notice for up to 10 days in order to ensure care in need during this time or organise suitable care (so-called short-term work incapability).

    Social assistance: payment of the contributions for the carer for adequate old age provision, unless this is provided otherwise.

    Long-term care

    User charges

    Statutory long-term care insurance:

    Care benefits contribute to mitigate the physical, mental and financial burden resulting from the need of long-term care. Not all costs relating to care are covered; only the cash benefits and benefits in kind mentioned above. If the total expenses of long-term care of a single person exceed the covered amount, the person pays the difference as participation.


  • Social protection system of elderly people in general



    GDP at market prices Purchasing Power Standard per inhabitant, 2011

    30 300

    Pension expenditure,  % of GDP, 2010


    Expenditure on care for elderly, % of GDP, 2008


    At-risk-of-poverty rate, age group 65 years or over, 2011


    Old-age pensions

    Basic principles

    Compulsory social insurance scheme financed by contributions and taxes covering employees and certain groups of self-employed providing earnings-related pensions depending on contributions and the duration of affiliation.

    Old-age pensions

    Legal retirement age in standard case

    67 years (standard retirement age)

    The Act on the adjustment of the standard retirement age to demographic development and the reinforcement of the principles of statutory pension insurance financing (Pension Insurance Retirement Ages Act - RV-Altersgrenzenanpassungsgesetz) of 20 April 2007 (BGBl. I p. 554), provides for the standard retirement age to be gradually increased to 67 years from 2012 to 2029, starting with those born in 1947. The first increase amounts to one month per year (65 to 66) and the following to two months per year (66 to 67). For all those born after 1963, the standard retirement age of 67 years shall apply. It will still be possible for insured persons to retire at the age of 65 years without having their pensions reduced if they complete 45 years of compulsory contributions from employment and care and from child-raising periods up to the age of 10 of the child.

    Financing principles for old-age pensions

    Contributions (insured persons and employers) and taxes

    Benefits for older unemployed

    No special provision

    Financing systems for long-term benefits

    Case of  old-age benefits

    Current income financing (‘pay as you go’)


    Health care

    Basic principles

    Statutory Health Insurance:

    Compulsory social insurance scheme for employees and categories of persons assimilated thereto up to a certain income limit and with income-related contributions as well as entitlement to social compensation (Sozialausgleich) in case of financial overstraining. Benefits-in-kind system with exceptions.

    Since 1 January 2009, there is a general obligation for the entire population to become affiliated with the statutory or private health insurance.

    Health care

    Benefits for prosthesis, spectacles, hearing-aids

    The prices for medical supplies are agreed between the sickness funds and the care providers. If there are fixed amounts determined for medical supplies, these constitute the ceiling for the contract prices.

    Participation of the insured:

    10% of the cost for aids, at least € 5, € 10 at most, not more than the price of the product. 10% of the costs for remedies plus an additional € 10 per prescription; children are exempted.
    The entitlement to vision aids is limited to children and young persons up to the completion of the age of 18 and to insured persons with severe vision impairments. Therapeutic vision aids used for treatment of eye injuries or eye diseases are excluded from this restriction.


  • Computer and Internet skills of the general population




    Use of computers



    Enforced lack of a computer



    One adult 65 years or over. Cannot afford









    Individuals who have copied or moved a file or folder



    Individuals who have used copy or cut and paste tools to duplicate or move information on screen



    Individuals who have compressed files






    Way of obtaining e-skills



    Individuals who have obtained IT skills through self-study (learning by doing)






    Reasons for not having taken a computer course



    Individuals who do not need to take a computer course because their computer skills are sufficient



    Individuals who do not need to take a computer course because they rarely use computers






    Use of Internet



    Frequency of Internet access:



    Once a week (including every day)






    Internet used for



    Internet banking



    Interaction with public authorities (last 12 months)






    Mobile Internet access with portable computer



    Every day or almost every day 2012






    Individuals' level of Internet skills



    Individuals who have used a search engine to find information



    Individuals who have sent an email with attached files



    Individuals who have posted messages to chat rooms, newsgroups or an online discussion forum



    Individuals who have used the Internet to make phone calls



    Individuals using the Internet for seeking health-related information






    Concern about possible problems related to Internet usage



    Strongly concerned about catching a virus or other computer infection (e.g. worm or Trojan horse) resulting in loss of information or time



    Mildly concerned about catching a virus or other computer infection (e.g. worm or Trojan horse) resulting in loss of information or time



    Not at all concerned about catching a virus or other computer infection (e.g. worm or Trojan horse) resulting in loss of information or time






    Security related problems experienced through using the Internet for private purposes in the last 12 months.



    Caught a virus or other computer infection (e.g. worm or Trojan horse) resulting in loss of information or time



    Financial loss as a result of receiving fraudulent messages ('phishing') or getting redirected to fake websites asking for personal information ('pharming')






    Activities via Internet not done because of security concerns



    Security concerns kept individual from ordering or buying goods or services for private use



    Security concerns kept individual from communicating with public services and administrations






    Use and update of IT security software or tool to protect the private computer and data



    Use any kind of IT security software or tool (anti-virus, anti-spam,firewall, etc.) in order to protect private computer and data



    Don't use any kind of IT security software or tool (anti-virus, anti-spam, firewall, etc.) in order to protect private computer and data



    Don't know if use any kind of IT security software or tool (anti-virus, anti-spam, firewall, etc.) in order to protect private computer and data






    Frequency of safety copies or back up files from the computer on any external storage device



    Frequency of safety copies/back up files: always or almost always



    Frequency of safety copies/back up files: Never or hardly ever