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Working in EuropePension rightsPoland

Social security


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

The social security contributions are divided into 4 categories:

  • old-age pension,
  • disability pension,
  • sickness, including maternity insurance
  • work accident insurance

The security contributions may be compulsory or voluntary, depending on your status - an employee or doctoral student - and also on the type of your work contract.


Within the EU member states, as well as Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Switzerland there is a coordination mechanism of the national social security schemes. It is applicable to all persons that are subject to social security obligations in the EU (due to work or study), regardless of their nationality.

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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 in the national social security institution. The A1 form is available in each language of the above mentioned countries.
  3. 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 case the 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 case he/she should apply to a proper institution in your country on your behalf to get a permission. If you do not obtain the permission, you are obliged to pay contributions in Poland.

More information on the European coordination of social security schemes



Useful links

See also:

Health insurance and care

Pregnancy and Family