Which grade applies to professors at universities of applied sciences in Germany?
Like their colleagues, Professors at universities of applied sciences may also be remunerated according to salary groups W2 and W3. However, W3 at universities of applied science is rare. Additional performance bonuses are also possible here, but the scope for negotiation is much narrower than at a university. Those who intend to switch from a well-paid position in the private sector to a technical college should be aware of this.
Are there any experience levels for professors?
With the introduction of the W salary, the federal states aimed to take the seniority of professors into account when determining their salaries. However, the German State, Bavaria, Hesse and Saxony provide salary levels that are linked to the experience levels of researchers. The German State and Bavaria differentiate between three salary levels, whereby Level 1 and Level 2 each mark seven years of experience. Hesse, on the other hand, provides for five salary scales, each with a five-year term. In Saxony, there are four stages, each with a five-year term.
What should professors in Germany be aware of if they are not civil servants?
The federal and state governments have defined a maximum age limit for full-time civil service. Anyone appointed to the professorship after reaching this limit is generally no longer licensed or employed as a member of staff. This means that the employee and employer pay contributions to the social security system on a pro rata basis. Salaried professors should therefore ensure that the net remuneration of these taxes is no less than that of professors working as civil servants. The employee share of social security contributions is currently around 19%.
Performance bonuses – what are the additional performance bonuses and when are they agreed?
The Federal Civil Service Remuneration Act (Bundesbesoldungsgesetz) distinguishes between
- Appointments and retention performance benefits,
- Special performance bonuses (e.g. for special services in research and teaching) and
- Functional performance bonuses.
Appointment and retention benefits may be granted if a university has a particular interest in attracting or retaining a professor. They can be paid on a single occasion or monthly. They are agreed during the course of the appointment or retention negotiations.
The performance bonuses are also included in the appointment and retention negotiations. These are granted for special services, such as high external fundraising, publications in professional journals, a high number of exams. The maximum level of these additional benefits is governed by the salary legislation (Besoldungsgesetz), the national benefits regulations (Leistungsbezuegeverordnungen) and the respective guidelines of the universities.
The functional performance bonuses are in turn paid to those in senior positions within the context of academic self-government, such as rectors, presidents and deans. Some universities specify fixed rates, while others freely negotiate the level of these functional performance bonuses. Some countries pay additional basic benefits to ensure that they remain competitive in the science system. These are specified in the state's salary legislation, together with the amount to be paid. No additional services are as yet associated with these additional payments.
Can junior professors also receive performance bonuses?
When the junior professorship was created, there was no provision for junior professors to receive performance bonuses. However, this principle is no longer as strictly applied in Baden-Wurttemberg, Bavaria, Berlin, Hamburg, Hesse, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Saarland, Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt, Schleswig-Holstein and Thuringia.
The extent to which these additional bonuses are available is set out in the respective salary legislation of each state. According to this legislation, it is in particular possible for junior professors who have successfully raised third-party funds from private and non-public sources to claim a non-pensionable performance bonus. However, some states now also provide additional performance bonuses for special services in research, teaching and the promotion of young talent.
Similarly to the appointment performance bonuses for W2 and W3 professors, junior professors can receive a monthly special supplement, particularly if there are concerns that a post cannot be filled by a sufficiently qualified junior professor.
In addition, both the federal government and almost all federal states grant their junior professors a monthly probationary allowance of €260–285 following a successful interim evaluation.
What does the consumption of performance bonuses mean?
If the W basic salary is increased as a result of new salary legislation, this also has an impact on the originally agreed performance-related allowances. These are not simply added to the new basic salary, but are offset. The respective billing key is defined in the respective state or the Federal Civil Service Remuneration Act (Bundesbesoldungsgesetz). The newly calculated total salary is often the same or only slightly higher than would be expected as a result of the actual increase in basic salary.
The same applies if professors in Bavaria, Hesse, Saxony and the federal government reach a new pay grade (none of the other states stipulate salary levels within the W2 and W3 pay scales). Consumption also occurs in these cases: The performance bonuses and increased basic salary are offset against each other. The German Higher Education Association considers this rule to be constitutionally questionable, but several courts have already confirmed current practice.
Are professors in Germany required to make social security contributions?
Full-time professors pay wage taxes, but they are not required to make social security contributions to the statutory health insurance funds. Instead, they arrange private health and long-term care insurance. Those who only become civil servants temporarily, such as junior professors, should ensure that they are well informed before arranging private health insurance, as it is not always possible to return to statutory insurance.
Which components of the W salary are pensionable?
The pension or retirement pay received later in life is calculated on the basis of the last pay check received by a civil servant before retiring. Not all components of the professor's salary are pensionable and are therefore not taken into account in the calculation of their future pension.
In principle, the basic salary and married portion of the family allowance are pensionable, but not the additional performance bonuses. These must first be declared as pensionable and can usually only be accounted for in the pension up to a maximum of 40%. The actual percentage and pensionability in general are determined during the negotiations on performance bonuses, i.e. in the case of appointment and retention negotiations.