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 (2019):
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
Apart from the above contributions, there may be several others, calculated in a different way or applying to other than social security aspects of employment. These are health insurance or Labour Fund contributions. Each regular employment contract covers the health insurance contribution in the amount of 9% of your salary, paid to the National Health Fund (more about healthcare system in Poland).
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
andwork 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
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
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.
Within the European Union countries, the European Economic Area (EU + Norway, Iceland
The European coordination of social security schemes gives you the following benefits:
- You never "lose" your contributions – it means that contributions paid on your income in each country are summed up;
- You do not pay double contributions towards insurance systems in each of those countries.
Remember that due benefits are not subject to any kind of reduction, change or suspension on the grounds that the beneficiary or their family lives in a different Member State than the one in which the institution responsible for the payments is located. The principle of equal treatment grants you and the citizens of the country you live in equal rights.
The European coordination of social security schemes in practice:
- If you do not have social insurance in your country, you have to pay social security contributions in Poland in the same way as Polish employees. Of course, 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 your country and you arrive in Poland for the purpose of employment, you can still pay social security contribution in your 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 in your country and its validity is certified
inthe national social security institution. The A1 form is available in each language of the EEA countries.
- If you are employed in your country and your employer delegates you to a Polish institution for a predictable period not exceeding 24 months, you will still pay social security contributions in your home country. In this
casethe A1 form is obligatory.
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
If you are delegated for a period exceeding 24 months, you have to contribute towards social security scheme in Poland from the beginning of your stay.
Moving within Europe?
As far as non-EU countries are concerned, Poland concluded bilateral social security agreements
In other cases, 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 your home country or withdrawn from the Social Security Institution after you finish employment in Poland.