If you are employed based on a regular employment contract (pl. umowa o pracę) you are obligatorily covered by the 4 types of insurance: old-age pension insurance, disability insurance, sickness insurance and work accident insurance. The monthly contributions are covered by the employer and employee in the rates presented in the table below. The employee's parts are simply subtracted from the salary:
Types and rates of monthly contributions:
Type of contribution
Total contribution rate (%)
|Employer (%)||Employee (%)|
|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
If you are employed based on either of the 2 most common civil-law contracts:
- a free-for-task agreement (pl. umowa zlecenie) - 3 types of contributions are compulsory: old-age pension insurance, disability insurance
andwork accident insurance. The sickness insurance is not obligatory but can be obtained voluntarily;
- a specific-task contract (pl. umowa o dzieło) - none of the above-mentioned contributions are obligatory. However, you can obtain the old-age pension and disability insurance on a
Employers are obliged to provide their employees with the information on the amounts of the paid contributions (annually or monthly). You can also request this information whenever needed, for instance for the application for residence permit.
Based on the paid insurance contributions, the insured are entitled to receive various social security benefits, such as:
- old-age pension after you retire; for women after 60 years of age, for men after 65 years of age;
- disability pension in case of long-term incapacity for work,
- paid sickness leave - if you are on a sick leave prescribed by a doctor, you are 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),
- paid maternity/parental leave - women who give birth to a child while being covered by the sickness insurance (regardless of how long the sickness insurance has been paid) are entitled to monthly allowances paid during the leave. More information in Pregnancy & Family section,
- a one-off compensation in case of work-related accidents.
It should also be noted that on top of the above social security contributions, 9% of your monthly salary is paid for health insurance (in case of a regular employment contract and a free-for-task contract, more about Health insurance and care 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 addition to the social security and healthcare contributions, each salary is subject to personal income tax. More information about Taxation in Poland.
As of the academic year 2019/2020 the PhD education is run in doctoral schools and all the PhD candidates receive a monthly scholarship which covers obligatory: old-age pension isurance, disability and accident insurance.
The sickness insurance is not covered but can be obtained voluntarily from ZUS. Its monthly contribution of 2.45% will be subtracted from the scholarship. Note that during the period of sickness/illness when you do not attend the classes, your scholarship is paid so there is no point in having the sickness insurance.
This insurance can be useful, though, in case of maternity when you suspend the education. Then the scholarship can be suspended too and you can receive the monthly maternity&parental benefit. The PhD scholarship is paid for max 4 years in total (whole PhD education period).
More about maternity leave in Pregnancy & Family section.
Note: PhD students who started their education before the 2019/20 academic year (in the "old" mode) are not covered by the above insurances.
However, all PhD candidates, including those who started before 2019/20, are covered by the health insurance, unless they are insured on other basis e.g. as family members or due to employment. Thanks to this, as a PhD student you can use public healthcare services for free.
More about Health insurance and care
Within the EU member states, as well as Norway, Iceland,
The mechanism prevents from situations when a person moving across several countries is subject to social security legislation of more than one country or no country. It also regulates the social security contributions payments and benefits applicable to persons working and living in more than one country.
Thanks to the coordination scheme you never "lose" your contributions and you do not pay double contributions towards insurance systems in each country.
How it works in practice:
- When you move to Poland and you are only employed in Poland, you have to pay social security contributions in Poland in the same way as Polish employees. Your contributions paid here will be summed up with all the contributions paid before and after in other EU countries.
- If you are employed in another EU country and you arrive in Poland for the purpose of employment, you can still pay social security contribution in the other country if you bring an A1 form with you. The A1 form is a document confirming that you are an employee covered by the social security system of another country. The standard form can be obtained from your employer and its validity is certified
inthe national social security institution. The A1 form is available in each language of the above mentioned countries.
- If you are employed in another EU country and your employer delegates you to a Polish institution for a period not exceeding 24 months, you will still pay social security contributions in the other EU country. In this
casethe A1 form is also necessary.
If your stay needs to be prolonged, your employer can apply for an extension of the possibility of paying contributions in your home country. In such
As far as third countries are concerned, Poland concluded bilateral social security agreements
In case of countries to which no agreement applies, foreigners employed in Poland have to pay full social security contributions in Poland according to the national rules. All the paid contributions "stay" in Poland and cannot be transferred to the third country or withdrawn from the Social Security Institution after you finish employment in Poland.
- Social Insurance Institution's brochure "Social security in Poland" (2019)
- European Commission's brochure "Your social security rights in Poland" (2020)
- Social Security Coordination in Europe