Social insurance schemes are being effectively supplemented by welfare and/or
basic social security as a last line of defence. There are also voluntary welfare
organisations such as churches as well as corporate social policy institutions,
particularly occupational pension schemes and sick pay in the event of
These examples demonstrate that social partnership in Germany is not a
buzzword but a living reality to which companies also contribute a great deal.
Overall, social security spending (according to the EU definition) totals 29% of
GDP. Despite its economic strength Germany is close to the EU average in this
Corporations alone finance 27% of the social budget. As a result trade
and industry are among the biggest contributors to the welfare state together
with households (30.9%), ahead of even the federal government (21.3%; other
public sector entities 18.9%).