A transparent, new membership fee model from 2021

The current membership fee model for individual DPG members is not exactly known for its simple logic. This is hardly surprising, since this model has grown organically over many decades. Again and again new contribution groups have been added and fee limits have been shifted in order to do justice to the thoroughgoing change of the DPG and its members.

The council took this as an opportunity to suggest a fundamental revision of the structure of the existing membership fee model. A working group consisting of members of the council, the executive committee and the head office quickly came up with a systematic, up-to-date and transparent model. After extensive discussion, the new membership fee model was approved by the Board of Management at its meeting on 8 November 2019 in Bad Honnef and will come into force on 1 January 2021.


The new model is based on the life and career paths of DPG members. In order to make room for the diverse educational paths and life stages of physicists, it consists of two phases:

The first phase is open to all members at certain intervals of their age and is divided into two sections: In the first section, mainly members who are in study of physics are connected to each other. The second section essentially brings together young professionals, whether they work at the university, in companies, schools or in all the other places in our society where young physicists start their careers.

In future, the age limits for these two contribution groups will enable the young DPG members to float smoothly through the contribution groups without having to become active themselves. The new model starts with contribution group E up to an age of 27 years for 18 euros per year, which corresponds to about one canteen coffee (1.50 euros) per month. This is followed by group Y for members aged between 28 and 35 years, who pay 36 euros per year, or two canteen coffees per month.

The second phase of the model follows after the age of 36. It can be flexibly adapted to the respective life situation by self-grouping. If, for example, the gross annual income is less than 30,000 euros due to parental leave, a change of profession or other reasons, the corresponding income-dependent contribution group A allows an annual contribution which, compared to contribution group Y, remains unchanged at 36 euros. Typically, physicists earn more than 30,000 euros per year after completing their studies and can therefore initially be assigned to contribution group B up to 45,000 euros per year with an annual contribution of 72 euros. For established professionals with an annual income of 45,000 euros or more, there is the contribution group C, which sees itself as an essential element of a generation model that makes many of the DPG's young talent initiatives possible in the first place. In order to take care of the generally financially strained situation at the start of a career, the previous income limits have been adjusted upwards [1].

If members wish to support the work of the DPG exceeding the normal level, self-grouping as a supporting member enables them to determine the membership fee at their own discretion. [2] Such support helps the DPG in its efforts to meet the challenges of the future. The members are therefore asked to examine whether they can, within the scope of their possibilities, decide to support the DPG in this special way.

The reduced contribution group for partners is still open to all those where both partners are DPG members and one partner is assigned to a contribution group for members with an income of more than 30,000 euros per year or is a supporting member. In addition, members who cannot pay higher fees for financial reasons can apply for grouping in the same way as for the contribution group up to 27 years of age, i.e. for 18 euros per year, regardless of age.

After reaching the age of 65, retired members can, as before, informally apply for a 50 percent reduction in contributions for the following years. Members with a gross annual income of more than 30,000 euros who belong to one of the two corresponding contribution groups will continue to pay a 25 percent reduction in membership fees if they belong to both the DPG and one of our partner companies. With the new model, many questions which were certainly well known to our members in the past will no longer apply: How long do you belong to the students? Are schoolchildren allowed to group themselves as students? Does preparing for a doctorate mean starting a career or does one already belong to the income-dependent contribution levels in order to switch back to "career starters" after the doctorate?

With the changeover to the new model, the shift in income limits, the abolition of contribution group 3 and the introduction of age-dependent contribution groups up to 27 years and up to 35 years of age will result in regroupings, which the office will be happy to carry out for you. Prior to this, all those affected will be contacted individually and advised of their options.

Further information can be found here.


[1] from < 27,000 €/year to < 30,000 €/year and from < 41,000 €/year to < 45,000 €/year

[2] At least 144 €/year