Social security system in Slovakia
In Slovakia, the social security coverage is based on the occupational activity, not on the residence. The system falls under the competence of the Ministry of Employment, Social Affairs and Family of the Slovak Republic. The Social Insurance Agency and Central Office of Labour, Social Affairs and Family of the Slovak Republic are the executive bodies. The social security system in Slovakia consists of 3 main components – social insurance, social assistance and state social support.
The basic role of the social insurance system in Slovakia is the protection of the economically active population in different situations. Employees and self-employed persons meeting the conditions regarding the amount of income are mandatorily insured. The social insurance is financed upon contributions and administered by the Social Insurance Agency (SIA). Social insurance system is composed of 5 insurance subsystems which include a variety of benefits:
The pension insurance scheme is built on 3 pillars. The first pillar represents mandatory pension insurance based on the contributions to the state Social Insurance Agency. The old-age pension saving system in pension management companies is known as the second pillar. Participation in the second pillar is subject to one’s own choice up to the age of 35. Afterward, it is impossible to enter the second pillar. The third pillar pension regime, which is completely facultative, is an additional old-age pension saving scheme. Some employers opt to contribute to these savings on behalf of an employee.
The employee pays the old-age insurance contributions in the amount of 4 % of the assessment basis (usually equal to the gross wage). The employer on behalf of the employee pays the old-age insurance contributions of 14 % of the employee’s basis of the assessment.
The system of social assistance allows people in situations of material deprivation to receive substitute resources from the state budget in the form of services and benefits.
If you are an EU/EEA/Swiss national or a third country national with a permanent or temporary residence in Slovakia and you face a difficult social situation, you may be eligible to use the so-called social services. They are regulated by the Act No. 448/2008 on Social Services.
The aim of the provision of social services is to prevent, address or mitigate the unwanted social situations of individuals; to support an individual to live a self-sufficient life, to prevent the social exclusion and to secure the conditions for the satisfaction of an individuals’ basic life needs.
The system of state social support is devised to address particular life situations, including the birth of a child, childcare, death of a family member and others. The allowances provided within this system are financed directly from the state budget. The entitlement to the social support is usually based on the permanent or temporary residence in Slovakia and does not depend on the income of the family or the economic activity of a person and his/her family members. Specific conditions must be fulfilled for obtaining a particular allowance.
The state social support allowances are:
Major applicable legislation of the Slovak Republic:
Major applicable EU legislation:
Sick pay – income during a sick leave
An employee/insured person does not receive any salary during the sick leave. However, after being recognised as temporarily unfit to work due to illness, injury, or quarantine by the doctor, he/she is entitled to compensation for the loss of income during the first 10 days of his/her incapacity to work. The compensation is paid by the employer at the rate of 25 % of the employee’s assessment basis for the first 3 days and at the rate of 55 % of the employee’s assessment basis from the fourth to the tenth day. An employee who is temporarily unfit for work for a period longer than 10 days is entitled to a sick pay from the Social Insurance Agency from the eleventh day onwards (for a maximum of 52 weeks of the temporary incapacity) at the rate of 55 % of his/her assessment basis.
The daily assessment basis for the determination of the sick pay is the quotient of the sum of the bases of assessment determining the sickness insurance contributions in the relevant period, and the number of days in that period.
Conditions of entitlement:
Filing the claim:
Obligations of the recipient of benefits:
Women having sickness insurance for at least 270 days in the last 2 years before the expected childbirth are entitled to a maternity pay usually from the beginning of the 6th week preceding the expected date of delivery (childbirth) as determined by an attending practitioner or from the beginning of the 8th week preceding that day. In case the child is born earlier, the woman is entitled to a maternity pay from the delivery date.
Generally, the maternity pay is provided for 34 weeks. In case that a woman is a single mother, she is entitled to a maternity pay for 37 weeks. If a woman gives birth to 2 or more children at the same time and takes care of at least 2 of these children, she is entitled to the maternity pay for 43 weeks.
The period of entitlement to a maternity pay for an insured person who has given birth to a child may not be shorter than 14 weeks from the commencement of entitlement and may not be terminated earlier than 6 weeks from the date of childbirth.
If another insured person is taking care of a child, such a person shall be entitled to a maternity pay as from the date of assuming the care of the child for a period of 28 weeks. If he/she is a single person, he/she is entitled to the pay for 31 weeks and if assuming care of two or more children, for 37 weeks.
The maternity pay is at the rate of 75 % of the daily assessment basis, or of the probable daily assessment basis, and it is provided from the first day of entitlement only to one insured person.
Conditions of entitlement:
Filing the claim:
using the form of the Social Insurance Agency – Maternity Pay Application, certified by a medical practitioner of a health establishment
Obligations of a recipient of benefits:
Sickness insurance entitles an insured person to an attendance allowance – an income compensation to be paid during the period of attending to a sick child, sick husband/wife, sick parent or sick spouse's parent or taking care of a child under 10 years of age in quarantine. In addition, the attending allowance can also be paid when the preschool or school establishment, that the child normally attends, have been closed or is in quarantine, or in case of sickness or quarantine of the person who otherwise takes care of the child or in the case of hospitalisation of that person.
The attendance allowance is paid at the rate of 55 % of the daily assessment basis, or of the probable daily assessment basis. It is provided from the first day of the attendance for a maximum of 10 days. It is provided only once per case and only to one insured person.
Filing the claim:
An insured person is entitled to an old-age pension if he/she has been insured for an old-age pension for at least 15 years and has reached the minimum age required for entitlement (the so-called retirement age). The retirement age in the Slovak Republic is currently 62 years both for men and women. In the case of women born before 1962, the retirement age is also dependent on the number of children a woman has brought up.
If a mobile worker has contributed to the insurance schemes of various Member States (EU, EEA, Switzerland) during his/her period of occupation, all records of his/her contributions are held in each Member State separately. Upon reaching the retirement age in one Member State, the periods of insurance in all Member States are summed up and he/she is entitled to draw the relevant proportion of his/her old-age pension from those Member States in which he/she has worked for a period of more than 12 months (provided he reached the retirement age in those states). The proportion is given by the ratio of years of insurance in the given state to the total insurance period of the worker before reaching the retirement age. An insurance period of fewer than 12 months will be taken over by his/her final country of employment.
A different legal framework applies to those workers who have contributed to the pension schemes of states, which concluded bilateral agreements on social security with Slovakia. Currently, such international agreements with the following territories outside the EU/EEA/Switzerland are in place: Australia, Canada, Israel, Macedonia, Montenegro, Quebec, Serbia, South Korea, Soviet Union (currently applied with Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and Turkmenistan), Turkey, Ukraine, the USA and Yugoslavia (currently applied with Bosnia and Herzegovina). The principle of territoriality is exercised here, i.e. the old-age pension is paid out by the state of permanent residence of the insured person. The list of bilateral treaties can be found in Slovak only.
The application for drawing the old-age pension is submitted through the authorised social insurance body based on the permanent residence. (If having a permanent residence in the Slovak Republic, the application shall be submitted to the competent office of Social Insurance Agency to draw benefits also from other states of the EU/EEA and Switzerland and from those with which there exists a bilateral treaty). Hence, usually, only one application is required.
Accident insurance benefits
If an employee has suffered health damage or died during the performance of work or in a direct connection therewith as a result of an accident (industrial accident), the liability for damage thus incurred lies with the employer with whom the employee had an employment relationship at the time of the industrial accident. The employer is obliged to compensate an employee who suffers harm at least to the extent to which he/she is liable for the harm.
An employee who, as a result of an industrial accident or an occupational disease is acknowledged as being temporarily unfit for work, is entitled to an accident supplement (a supplement to the salary compensation) from the first day of the temporary incapacity for work, if he/she is entitled to receive a salary compensation or a sick pay under a sickness insurance scheme. The accident supplement is paid per days.
The employee is entitled to the injury annuity payment if, as a result of an industrial accident or an occupational disease, his/her capacity to perform the work that he/she had performed before the injury has been diminished by more than 40 %.
The injured employee is entitled to a lump sum compensation if, as a result of an industrial accident or occupational disease, his/her capacity to work has been reduced by not more than 40 %, but more than 10 % or if he/she is not entitled to the injury annuity payment due to reaching the retirement age but not being entitled to the old-age pension, or being granted the early old-age pension, provided that the reduction of capacity to work is at least 10 %.
Employers are the ones who must take out the compulsory injury insurance (as from the date on which they start employing at least one employee), but insurance benefits go to the employee concerned or an authorised person.
Unemployment insurance benefits
The system of social insurance also includes the unemployment insurance. The insured person is entitled to the unemployment benefit under the condition, that he/she had the unemployment insurance for at least 2 years (i.e. 730 days) within the past 4 years before being included into the registry of unemployed job seekers.
The unemployment insurance benefit is provided for a maximum of 6 months. The entitlement to receive it also ceases as of the day of being granted the old-age pension, the early old-age pension, the invalidity pension due to the incapacity to perform a gainful activity by more than 70 % and of being deleted from the registry of unemployed job seekers.
The unemployment benefit is assessed on a daily basis. The amount of unemployment benefit equals 50 % of the daily assessment basis multiplied by the number of days in the month. The daily assessment basis to determine the unemployment benefit depends on the amount of unemployment insurance contributions paid by the person in the past 2 years.
The insured person is not entitled to the unemployment benefit in the period when being granted a sick pay, an attendance allowance, a maternity pay or a parental allowance.
The unemployment insurance is mandatory for an employee having compulsory sickness insurance.
An employee for the purpose of sickness, pension and unemployment insurance, shall be an individual in a legal relationship with a right to a regular monthly income, with several exceptions, such as a person:
A person with a permanent or temporary residence in Slovakia can be voluntarily insured after reaching 16 years of age, in case he/she has not been granted an old-age pension, an early old-age pension or a disability pension due to the capacity to perform a gainful activity being reduced by more than 70 %.
A person can only have voluntary unemployment insurance in case he/she has voluntary health and pension insurance at the same time (the so-called package of voluntary insurance).
Guarantee insurance benefit
The guarantee insurance is applicable in the case of employer’s insolvency. This benefit is meant to cover the employee’s entitlements that the employer is unable to pay due to the insolvency. It is provided for a maximum of 3 months of the last 18 months of the employment relationship duration.
A parental allowance is a state social benefit that serves as a contribution to the expenses of taking proper care of a child. Parents or persons providing alternative care to a child are eligible to claim the allowance until the child reaches 3 years of age. In the case of a child with long-term poor health, they can claim the allowance until the child reaches 6 years of age. In case of a child placed in the alternative care, the allowance can be paid until the child reaches 6 years but not longer than for 3 years from the date on which the decision of the court to place the child in the alternative care became final.
If the parent is entitled to a maternity/equivalent benefit, the amount of the parental allowance is decreased by the amount of this benefit. As of January 2023, the amount of the parental allowance is 301 EUR per month or 412.60 EUR per month, if the entitled person who applied for the parental allowance was previously receiving a maternity benefit or similar benefit in the EU/EEA states.
If the entitled person provides due care to 2 and more children born together, the parental allowance is increased by 25% for each subsequent child, born at the same time as the first child.
Eligible persons may claim a parental allowance by filing a written application with the Office of Labour, Social Affairs and Family competent according to the person’s place of permanent or temporary residence.
Application form can be downloaded from:
An official translation of the birth certificate of the child into the Slovak language is required to be submitted together with the application if the child was born outside the Slovak Republic.
A child allowance is a state social benefit whereby the state contributes to the upbringing and maintenance of dependent children by eligible persons (e.g. parents, foster parents).
In general, a dependent child is defined as a child receiving compulsory education, or up to the age of 25, provided he/she is studying, until he/she has graduated from the second level of higher education.
Only one adult person is entitled to the allowance for the same child.
Entitlement to the child allowance arises upon the fulfilment of the following conditions: care of the child by the eligible person, a permanent or temporary residence of the eligible person in the Slovak Republic, a permanent or temporary residence of the dependent child in the Slovak Republic. In 2023, the amount of the allowance is 60 €/month.
Eligible persons may claim a child allowance by filing a written application with the Office of Labour, Social Affairs and Family competent according to the eligible person’s place of permanent or temporary residence. Application form can be downloaded from:
Other regulations regarding social security
Social security of EU/EEA/Swiss nationals
Social security coordination within the EU/EEA/Switzerland
Although there is no single European social security system, the EU has set common provisions in the field of social protection. These include the coordination of national social security schemes without seeking to harmonise the national regulations. The EU law has laid down common rules and principles to be observed by national authorities and social security institutions that do not replace but complement the social security provisions of Member States.
All countries are free to decide who is to be insured under their legislation, which benefits are granted and under what conditions. The EU provides common rules to protect your social security rights when moving within Europe (EU 28 + Iceland, Liechtenstein,Norway and Switzerland).
These rules apply to the:
The main principles:
Cross-border exchange of information
One of the main innovations introduced by the regulations is the countries' obligation to only exchange social security information by electronic means (Art. 4 Regulation 987/2009). A system providing a common secure framework is the EESSI system (Electronic Exchange of Social Security Information). It is expected to play a major role in facilitating the cooperation between institutions and leading to better enforcement of citizens' rights, e.g. benefits being granted in a speedier way. The EC released the central EESSI system in July 2017. Subsequently, Member States have 2 years to finalise their national implementation and to connect their social security institutions to it.
Cross-border exchange of information between responsible institutions is crucial for executing the social security rights of a migrant worker. The Slovak Republic participates in the Electronic Exchange of Social Security Information (EESSI) and supplied this database with the relevant data. Three national Access Points for the exchange of social security information in their respective fields of competence were appointed: the Social Insurance Agency in Slovakia (www.socpoist.sk); the Central Office of Labour, Social Affairs and Family (www.upsvar.sk); and the Healthcare Surveillance Authority (www.udzs-sk.sk).
The so-called Structured Electronic Documents (SED) will make the communication of data between institutions more efficient and easier within the EESSI. Most data will be exchanged directly between social security institutions. Paper E-forms will no longer be necessary, but in certain cases, a migrant worker will need a portable document (PD) A1 to certify his/her situation when moving. A portable document is usually issued by his/her social security institution upon his/her/employer’s request. It is recommended to request it before leaving. However, if the migrant worker does not have the institution in the country where he/she is moving, the necessary data can be obtained directly from the institution where the person is insured.
Social security of migrant workers, posted employees and persons employed in several countries within the EU/EEA/Switzerland
A migrant worker may present his/her claims, letters and certificates in his/her mother tongue, if it is amongst the official languages of the EU, whenever he/she considers it necessary or appropriate. This might delay the decision on his/her claim, but it may help him/her express him/herself clearly and avoid misunderstandings.
When a university, a research organisation or a company posts a worker to a different Member State, i.e. sends him/her to another Member State to perform work, the worker shall continue to be subject to the legislation of the Member State of origin, provided that the anticipated duration of work does not exceed 2 years. An example of posting could be a research stay longer than 1 month but not exceeding 2 years at a hosting research organisation in another Member State, while the researcher remains officially employed by the organisation in the country of origin.
To be officially certified of the applicability of home social insurance scheme, a portable document A1 should be issued before the posting by the competent social insurance institution of the home country upon request of the employer. In exceptional cases, a period of posting can be extended beyond the two-year limit.
In a case of a worker carrying out work in more than one Member State, he/she shall remain subject to single legislation only, i.e. it is necessary to determine the applicable legislation among several states of occupation by the A1 form. The A1 form shall be issued by the social insurance institution in a worker’s home country. Consequently, the contributions to the social insurance from all states where the occupational activity is performed will go only to one of the states.