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No cash contributions on services provided by the press


BSG denies compulsory contributions to private pensions
No health insurance contributions are due for benefits from a voluntary private occupational disability and pension insurance mediated by the pension fund of the press. Insofar as the insured person has previously paid for his own private insurance contributions, there is no obligation to pay, judged on Tuesday, October 10, 2017, the Federal Social Court (BSG) in Kassel (ref .: B 12 KR 2/16 R).

In this specific case, a former local editor of a newspaper house and current pensioner was right. During his career, the journalist had taken out private voluntary disability supplementary insurance and pension insurance through the press pension scheme and paid the insurance premiums himself. The insurance was brokered by the press company, which had negotiated favorable group rates for the communication and media industry with the insurance companies.

When the plaintiff became unable to work, he received - as agreed in the insured event - pension payments.

The man's statutory health insurance, the Barmer, raised health insurance contributions on the pension payments granted due to disability. With the disability pension, the journalist receives “pension benefits” that are subject to contributions. These are part of the company pension scheme. According to the law, this also included pensions granted by an insurance and pension institution for members of certain professions. This is also the case with the press pension fund.

The BSG did not follow that. The pension fund of the press, in which the newspaper and magazine publishers as well as the German Association of Journalists and the Verdi trade union are shareholders, do not organize company pension schemes. Rather, the pension fund of the press only cooperates with private insurance companies and arranges voluntary insurance at low group rates.

Also, with the press's pension fund, there is no pension institution for members of a certain professional group within the meaning of the law. Because not only journalists and media professionals could benefit from the services provided by the press, but also their parents and families. The group of people who can be insured is not - as required - limited to the profession. The plaintiff thus did not receive any "pension contributions subject to contributions".

The judgment does not include insurance claims in which the employer, as the policyholder, has paid all or part of the insurance contributions. fle

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