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, and the Social Security Institution (Zakład Ubezpieczeń Społecznych, ZUS) acts as its executive agency. ZUS is responsible for collecting contributions and afterwards paying benefits to entitled persons.

One of the elements of the Polish social security system is a scheme of financial payments, financed within the social insurance framework from the Social Insurance Fund (Fundusz Ubezpieczeń Społecznych). Their scope depends on the type of employment contract.

As far as non-EU countries are concerned, Poland concluded bilateral social security agreements with:Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia, Moldova, Serbia, Montenegro, Ukraine, United States of America, Canada, Korea and Australia. The aim of such an agreement is to avoid paying double contributions to social security schemes (in your home country and in Poland) and to settle the transfer of the paid contributions. Even though the general rule (the principle of territoriality) indicates that the obligation of social security arises in the country where the employment takes place, always pay attention to certain exceptions resulting from the bilateral international 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 All the paid contributions "stay" in Poland and cannot be transferred to your home country or withdrawn from the Social Security Institution after you finish employment in Poland.


Also note that PhD students from non-European countries are not covered by social security system in Poland. This is because Polish universities are not obliged to cover PhD students’ contributions. It is especially important when it comes to health insurance which is compulsory. Therefore, PhD students should buy their health insurance individually (preferrably in the Polish National Health Fund).

Only those PhD students who study and work simoultaneously (based on a regular employment contract) can have their social security contributions paid by their employer.


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