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Payslips in Germany

Your proof of earnings, tax and contributions

Every employed person in Germany receives a breakdown of his or her pay. This payslip is called a „Gehaltsabrechnung“, „Entgeltabrechnung“ or „Lohnabrechnung“. Employers have a duty to issue payslips.

Your payslip: a breakdown of taxes and contributions

Your payslip shows down to the last cent how much you were paid in the month in question. It also lists any allowances, deductions for mandatory insurance and taxes. For example, the following information appears on your payslip:

  • Your health insurance contribution
  • Your pension contribution
  • Your unemployment insurance contribution
  • Your contribution to long-term care insurance
  • Income tax
  • Church tax

The following could appear as bonuses or allowances („Zulagen“):

  • Bonuses and one-off payments
  • Capital-building payments (Vermögenswirksame Leistungen)

A look at your individual payslip therefore shows you exactly what your gross earnings were, what contributions were paid for you and what your net earnings were for a given month.

Current account for automatic payment of taxes and contributions

Taxes and contributions to health insurance and other aspects of social security are automatically withheld from the salaries of persons employed in Germany. Employees do not need to worry about arranging payment. However, to allow this automatic system to work, employees do need a bank account that records all incoming and outgoing payments electronically (a „Girokonto“).