Reading Corinne McKay’s blog today about “Providing your own benefits” as a freelancer reminded me of an opportunity available to freelancers in Germany. It is called the “Künstler Sozialkasse.” It is a benefits office which will assume the portion of a freelancer’s benefits that would normally be covered by an employee’s company, including health insurance, retirement insurance contributions and more. The Künstler Sozialkasse is determined to help artists (Künstler) achieve a high-quality of life and to prevent them from losing up to 50% of their income for the payment of benefits.
The good news is that the Künstler Sozialkasse has recently officially recognized translators as artists, which means that freelance translators living and working in Germany are welcome to apply. The application process can be intense but it is well worth the trouble. Membership is free, but it is necessary to prove that you actually are an artist (translator). To prevent part-timers, moonlighters or wannabes from taking full advantage, the Künstler Sozialkasse requires applicants to prove that they make their living from their art (translating) by submitting copies of invoices, recommendations from clients and more.
All of the information along with the application material is available (in German) from their website.