Social security

Working in Europe | Pension rights | Poland
 

The national welfare policy in Poland is the responsibility of the Ministry of Family, Labour and Social Policy (website in Polish), and the Social Insurance Institution (Zakład Ubezpieczeń Społecznych, ZUS) acts as its executive agency. ZUS is responsible for collecting contributions and afterwards paying benefits to the entitled persons.

 

The contributions are divided into 4 categories: old-age pension insurance, disability insurance, sickness insurance (including maternity) and work accident insurance. Their amounts paid to ZUS are calculated as percentages of a monthly salary.

All the 4 types of the insurance contributions are obligatory in case of the regular employment contract and are paid by an employer or empoyee in the amounts specified in the table below. In case of the employee's part, the amounts are simply subtracted from the salary.

 

Types and rates of monthly contributions (2020):

 

Type of contribution

Total contribution rate (%)

Employer (%) Employee (%)
Old-age pension 19.52 9.76 9,76
Disability 8 6.50 1.50
Sickness (incl. maternity) 2.45 - 2.45
Work accidents* 0.67 - 3.33 0.67- 3.33 -
 * the rate depends on the type of the activity you perform, according to the Polish Classification of Activity

 

It should also be noted that on top of the above contributions, 9% of your monthly salary is paid for health insurance (in case of a regular employment contract; more about Healthcare system in Poland). There are also other minor work related contributions such as Labour and Social Fund or others calculated in a different way or applying to other than social security aspects of employment.

 

In case of 2 most common types of civil-law contracts:

  • a free-for-task agreement (umowa zlecenie), 3 types of contributions are compulsory: old-age pension insurance, disability insurance and work accident insurance. The sickness insurance is not obligatory but can be obtained voluntarily;
  • a specific-task contract (umowa o dzieło) none of the above-mentioned contributions are obligatory. However, you can obtain the old-age pension and disability insurance on a voluntary basis.

 

Each month the employers inform the Social Insurance Institution (ZUS) about the amount of the paid contributions (using a special form: ZUS RCA, ZUS RZA and ZUS RSA). Once a year, employers are also obliged to provide their employees with the same information, in writing. You also have the right to request this information once a month, if needed. The information is given to you on the ZUS RMUA form or a different document containing the same information.

 

Based on the paid insurance contributions, the insured are entitled to receive various social security benefits, such as:

  • sickness allowance - if you are on a sick leave, you will be paid 80% of your basic salary (calculated on the basis of an average monthly salary from the last 12 months,excluding any additional components such as bonuses),
  • maternity allowance - calculated in the same way
  • disability pension - in case of long-term incapacity for work
  • old-age pension
  • or in case of work accident - a lump sum compensation.

One should also note that in addition to the social security and healthcare contributions, each salary is subject to personal income tax which amounts to either 17% or 32%. More information about the tax thresholds in Taxation section.

 

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