Fourth book of the Social Security Code

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Basic data
Title: Book Four of the Social Code
- Common Rules
for Social Insurance -
Short title: Fourth book of the Social Security Code
Abbreviation: SGB ​​IV
Type: Federal law
Scope: Federal Republic of Germany
Legal matter: Social law
References : 860-4-1
Original version from: December 23, 1976
( BGBl. I p. 3845 )
Entry into force on: July 1, 1977
New announcement from: November 12, 2009
( BGBl. I p. 3710 ; 3973 ;
2011 I p. 363 )
Last change by: Art. 310 VO of June 19, 2020
( Federal Law Gazette I p. 1328, 1364 )
Effective date of the
last change:
June 27, 2020
(Art. 361 of June 19, 2020)
Weblink: Text of the law
Please note the note on the applicable legal version.

The fourth book of the Social Security Code (also SGB ​​IV, Social Code, fourth book ) contains the common provisions for social insurance in Germany .


SGB ​​IV is divided into nine sections and these in turn into titles.

  • First section (§§ 1 to 18 h SGB IV): principles and definitions
    • First title (§§ 1 to 6): Scope and scope of the insurance
    • Second title (§§ 7 to 13): Employment and self-employment
    • Third title (§§ 14 to 18): Pay and income
    • Fourth title (§§ 18 a to 18 e): Income when meeting pensions due to death )
    • Fifth title (§§ 18 f to 18 g): Collection, processing and use of the insurance number
    • Sixth title (§ 18 h): Social security card
  • Second section (§§ 19 to 28 SGB IV): Benefits and contributions
    • First title (§§ 19, 19a): Achievements
    • Second title (§§ 20 to 28): Contributions
  • Third section (Sections 28 a to 28 r SGB IV): Employer's reporting obligations , total social security contribution
    • First title (§§ 28 a to 28 c): Reports from the employer and their forwarding
    • Second title (§§ 28 d to 28 n): Procedure and liability for the payment of contributions
    • Third title (§§ 28 o to 28 r): Duty to provide information and submission, examination, liability for damages and interest
  • Fourth section (§§ 29 to 90 a SGB IV): Social insurance providers
    • First title (§§ 29 to 42): Constitution
    • Second title (Sections 43 to 66): Composition, election and procedure of self-governing bodies , insured elders and confidants
    • Third title (§§ 67 to 79): Budget and accounting
    • Fourth title (§§ 80 to 86): Assets
    • Fifth title (§§ 87 to 90 a): Supervision
  • Fifth section (§§ 91 to 94 SGB IV): Insurance authorities
  • Sixth section (§§ 95 to 110): Procedure for the electronic remuneration statement (formerly: social security card, now: § 18h )
    • First title (§§ 95, 96): General regulations
    • Second title (§§ 97, 98): Obligations of employers and employees
    • Third title (§§ 99, 100): Tasks and powers of the central storage location and the specialist procedure registry
    • Fourth title (§§ 101 to 103): retrieval procedure
    • (from January 1, 2014: Fifth title (§ 104): Financing the procedure)
    • Sections 104 to 110: dropped
  • Seventh section (§§ 110 a to 110 d SGB IV): Storage of documents
  • Eighth section (Sections 111 to 113 SGB IV): regulations on fines
  • Ninth section (§§ 114 to 120 SGB IV): Transitional and expiry regulations

Scope and scope of the insurance

Branches of insurance

SGB ​​IV applies to those

Compulsorily insured group of people

Social insurance includes in particular persons who are insured by law or the articles of association (compulsory insurance). Above and beyond the statutory provisions, the accident insurance institutions in particular can expand the group of persons subject to compulsory insurance by means of statutes ( Section 3 SGB ​​VII).

In all branches of social insurance, in accordance with the special regulations for the individual branches of insurance, people who are employed for wages or for their vocational training are subject to compulsory insurance, as well as disabled people who are employed in sheltered facilities and farmers. The legislature regards these persons as particularly in need of social protection.

Special features apply to German seafarers who are employed on a seagoing ship that is not authorized to fly the federal flag. At the request of the shipowner, you will be insured in the statutory health, pension and long-term care insurance and included in the unemployment insurance and, under certain conditions, also insured in the statutory accident insurance.

The law on the social insurance of self-employed artists and publicists ( Artists' Social Insurance Act - KSVG) of July 27, 1981 ( Federal Law Gazette I p. 705 ) includes self-employed artists and publicists under certain conditions in the general pension insurance, the statutory health insurance and the social long-term care insurance.

The insurance of other groups of people by operation of law results from the special regulations applicable to the individual insurance branches ( Section 2 SGB ​​IV). For example, certain family members of the insured person are insured free of charge in statutory health insurance ( Section 10 SGB ​​V). For a wide variety of social reasons, the statutory accident insurance now protects a group of people that is barely manageable, such as learners, examination participants, volunteers and volunteers, witnesses brought in by the police or in court, emergency helpers and blood donors or development workers ( Section 2 SGB ​​VII).

The provisions of the Social Security Code apply to all persons who have their place of residence or habitual abode in its area of ​​application ( Section 30 (1) SGB I).

Insofar as the regulations on compulsory insurance require employment, they also apply to persons who are posted abroad as part of an existing employment relationship in the Federal Republic ( broadcast - § 4 SGB ​​IV). However, they do not apply to persons who are posted to the Federal Republic of Germany as part of an employment relationship abroad ( radiation - § 5 SGB ​​IV).

Employment is - as a rule full shift - non-self-employed work, especially in an employment relationship. Indications for employment are an activity according to instructions and an integration into the work organization of the instruction giver ( § 7 Abs. 1 Satz 1 SGB IV).

In case of doubt, the German Federal Pension Insurance Association decides on the basis of an overall assessment of all circumstances of the individual case whether there is employment ( status determination procedure - § 7a, Paragraph 2, SGB IV).


Social insurance funds, including employment promotion, are raised in accordance with the special regulations for the individual insurance branches through contributions from the insured, employers and third parties, state subsidies and other income ( Section 20 SGB ​​IV).

The state subsidies are used in particular to finance non- insurance benefits not covered by contributions , such as the non-contributory co-insurance of family members in statutory health insurance.

The insurance carriers have to measure the contributions, insofar as they are to be determined by them, in such a way that the contributions, together with the other income, cover the legally prescribed and authorized expenses of the insurance carrier and ensure that the legally prescribed or authorized operating resources and reserves can be kept available ( § 21 SGB ​​IV).

The insurance carriers are entitled to contributions as soon as the conditions specified in the law or on the basis of a law are met ( Section 22 Paragraph 1 Clause 1 SGB IV), in particular when they take up employment subject to compulsory insurance. The insured person's contribution-liable income is taken into account up to the amount of the contribution assessment ceiling ( Section 22 (2) SGB IV).

Total insurance contribution

Statutory accident insurance

Statutory accident insurance is financed solely by contributions from employers (member companies) without the participation of the insured.

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