Everything is built socially

The social security system

The social security system comprises the following areas: provision, illness, occupational disability / invalidity, maternity, unemployment, old age, death of the dependent, survivors' pensions, care and social need.

Typical features of Austrian social insurance are:

  • Compulsory insurance for self-employed and employed persons and relatives. Some groups, e.g. marginal part-time employees, are only compulsorily insured in some areas, see forms of employment
  • Legal entitlement to certain - but not all - benefits (certain eligibility requirements must be met)
  • Financing through income-related insurance contributions and government support
  • Solidarity principle: People with higher incomes (higher social security contributions) help finance benefits for people with lower incomes
  • Insurance principle: Insurance as a prerequisite for many social benefits and the relationship between income and benefit amount

The insurance carriers

Health insurance (provision, illness, maternity, care) is administered by the health insurance companies, accident insurance by the Allgemeine Unfallversicherungsanstalt, unemployment insurance by the Public Employment Service, and pension insurance by the pension insurance company.

The responsibility of the health insurance companies results from the place of work (regional health insurance companies of the federal states). The self-employed, farmers, railway workers and miners as well as civil servants have their own social insurance institution regardless of their place of work.

All insurance carriers are divided into provincial offices and in some cases into district offices and are organized in the main association of Austrian social insurance institutions.

Registration for insurance

Employees with an employment contract and work slip are automatically covered by social insurance. The employers take care of the registration with the insurance companies. The insurance contributions to be paid by employees are deducted every month from their gross salary or gross wage and are transferred by the employers to the insurance company together with the contributions to be paid by them.

Voluntarily insured persons and, for example, the self-employed pay their contributions themselves and must also take care of registering with the relevant insurance providers.

Social assistance / minimum income

In addition to social security, there is the system of minimum income. The minimum income is intended to fill the gaps in the other social security systems in Austria.

EU-EEA citizens can submit an application for minimum income in the municipal office of their place of residence or in the municipal district offices (social welfare office) of the cities.