Information in English

As the social and economic institution of Austrian pharmacists, the Pharmazeutische Gehaltskasse für Österreich fulfils many and diverse tasks for its members.

Founding and history

By founding the Pharmazeutische Gehaltskasse für Österreich (i.e., the general salary fund of Austrian pharmacists) in 1908 the Austrian pharmacists established their own social welfare and economic institution. Its founding was inspired by the idea to establish a social system of balance and support for the pharmacist profession that would be based on solidarity within the profession.

Due to increased requirements, the functions of the Pharmazeutische Gehaltskasse für Österreich are considerably more extensive today. Its legal basis is provided by the so-called Gehaltskassengesetz. The tasks are performed by a modern administration.

The Pharmazeutische Gehaltskasse für Österreich is a Vienna-based statutory corporation responsible for the entire federal territory. It features equal representation -  i.e. representatives of both salaried and self-employed pharmacists - in all its bodies. Decisions can therefore only be taken by agreement between employee and employer representatives. The 72-member Delegate Assembly and the 14-member Executive Board form the basis of this system. To the outside the Pharmazeutische Gehaltskasse für Österreich is represented by two chairpersons. The Pharmazeutische Gehaltskasse für Österreich is subject to supervision by the Federal Ministry of Health.

Key activities

Remuneration system

It is estimated that around 4,000 pharmacists working in Austrian public and hospital pharmacies have their salaries paid by the Pharmazeutische Gehaltskasse für Österreich.

Remuneration is based on a salary scheme with 18 brackets and pay increases every two years. Conversely the pharmacy as employer pays a so-called Gehaltskassenumlage (‘salary fund levy’) to the Pharmazeutische Gehaltskasse für Österreich whose amount is independent of the respective employee’s salary bracket. This system of a uniform levy ensures that the costs for each salaried pharmacist are always the same to the employer irrespective of age and years of service.

The discrimination of older employees for financial reasons is thus largely avoided, which in 1908 was also the objective that led to the establishment of the Pharmazeutische Gehaltskasse für Österreich .

Apart from their remuneration through the Pharmazeutische Gehaltskasse für Österreich , salaried pharmacists also receive parts of their salaries directly from the pharmacy employing them on the basis of collective bargaining agreements. These salary parts are likewise independent of years of service, so that this does not result in any cost-related discrimination against older employees either.

Prescription settlement

All public health service prescriptions are settled by the Pharmazeutische Gehaltskasse für Österreich as intermediary between public pharmacies and health insurance providers. This procedure is expressly regulated in the Salary Fund Act. According to the provisions of this Act, public pharmacies’ claims against health insurance providers resulting from supplying pharmaceuticals are subrogated to the Pharmazeutische Gehaltskasse für Österreich at the time incurred. Legally, therefore, the Pharmazeutische Gehaltskasse für Österreich für Österreich asserts its own claims vis-a-vis the health insurance providers. The pharmacies are entitled to corresponding payment from the Pharmazeutische Gehaltskasse für Österreich.

The Pharmazeutische Gehaltskasse für Österreich thus takes on the role of “clearing house”, thereby making the settlement significantly easier for both the currently about 1,300 public pharmacies as well as the health insurance providers (about 200 so-called “favoured recipients”). The settlement includes both mailing and distributing paper prescriptions as well as forwarding electronic prescription settlement data.

Based on internal resolutions, in this context the Pharmazeutische Gehaltskasse für Österreich undertakes advance financing of the prescription revenues vis-a-vis the pharmacies. This means that the pharmacies receive the prescription revenue four days after submitting the prescriptions to the Pharmazeutische Gehaltskasse für Österreich , whereas the health insurance providers legally have a maximum period of 14 days for payment to the Pharmazeutische Gehaltskasse für Österreich .

The Pharmazeutische Gehaltskasse für Österreich also undertakes arrears billing vis-a-vis the health insurance providers and checks possible reassessments made by the health insurance providers.

Welfare and support fund

The “social fund” of Austrian pharmacists is primarily financed by self-employed and salaried pharmacists’ dues.

The bulk of the funds is spent on supplementary pension schemes in the form of additional payments to the legal pension for currently about 1,800 retired pharmacists.

Apart from these additional payments from the Welfare and Support Fund, since 2000 there has also been a supplementary pension plan in the form of a retirement fund to ensure an appropriate overall old-age pension.

In addition, the Welfare and Support Fund grants numerous further benefits, such as for instance scholarships, maternity grants, homecare allowances, bereavement payments etc. to its (former) members as well as financial support to low-turnover pharmacies (rural pharmacy assistance, locum pharmacist assistance, discount loss assistance).

Job placement

On a statutory basis the Pharmazeutische Gehaltskasse für Österreich provides its members with free-of-charge job placement services across Austria.

Pharmacies with vacancies as well as job-seeking pharmacists register their respective placement wishes with the Pharmazeutische Gehaltskasse für Österreich. The Pharmazeutische Gehaltskasse für Österreich job placement service subsequently informs job-seeking pharmacists about vacancies worth considering.

Due to its job placement and remuneration functions, the Pharmazeutische Gehaltskasse für Österreich always has a comprehensive overview of the job market situation for salaried pharmacists.

Key figures 2017

Pharmacists   
salaried pharmacists 4,317
salaried aspirants 264
salaries paid € 143.56 m
Businesses  
public pharmacies 1,362
hospital pharmacies 37
branch pharmacies 29
prescription revenues paid out € 2,811.9 m
Selected welfare/support services   
pension allowances € 7.36 m
rural pharmacy assistance € 237,146
maternity grants € 191,700
locum pharmacist assistance € 181,301
homecare allowances € 183,278
discount loss assistance € 74,189
assistance in case of sickness € 63,209
scholarships € 26,870
assistance for the unemployed € 150,145
assistance for single parents € 18,462

 

Contact

Pharmazeutische Gehaltskasse für Österreich
Spitalgasse 31
1090 Vienna
Austria

Phone: +43 1 404 14-200
Fax: +43 1 404 14-249
e-mail: office@gk.or.at