10.26.1.30 Social Security System in Poland

Poland's social security system

The social security system in Poland is basically split into 2 different insurance schemes:

  • the Social Insurance Institution (ZUS), and
  • the Agricultural Social Security Fund (KRUS).

ZUS is the main Social Insurance Institution for Polish employees. KRUS is the Polish Social Insurance Fund responsible for farmers.

The Ministry of Labour and Social Policy is responsible for making policy decisions and supervising the operation of both schemes.

The Polish social insurance started in 1927. It is divided into 4 groups:

  • old age insurance,
  • disability and survivors insurance,
  • sickness insurance,
  • work accident insurance.

Polish age pension is based on insurance coverage (contributions). A reform of Polish age pension commenced in January 1999. The old pension system is compulsory for persons born before 1 January 1949 and the new pension system is compulsory for persons born after 31 December 1968. Persons born in between these 2 dates had the opportunity to elect which pension system they wished to belong to (this decision had to be taken by 31 December 1999).

Old system

Polish age pension is paid from age 65 with 25 years of insurance coverage for men and age 60 with 20 years of insurance coverage for women. Non-contributory periods must not exceed 1/3 of contributory periods. The age requirement is reduced for certain professions (i.e. dancers, acrobats, miners, teaching, aviation and maritime employment). The age requirement is also reduced, by 5 years, for women with 25 years of insurance coverage, war veterans and the disabled.

The amount of age pension, under the old system is calculated as 24% of national average earnings plus 1.3% for each contributory year plus 0.7% for each non-contributory year.

New system

Polish age pension is paid from age 65 with 25 years of insurance coverage for men and age 60 with 20 years of insurance coverage for women. A guaranteed minimum pension is payable to Polish residents.

The amount of age pension under the new system is calculated as the total value of contributions paid divided by the average life expectancy at the age of retirement.

Other Polish benefits

Disability pension is generally payable to people who:

  • are incapable of work, and
  • have the required Polish periods of insurance (5 years).

Survivors' pension is generally payable to a dependant child under 16 (age 25 if a student or no age limit if disabled) and for a surviving spouse.

Work accidents and occupational diseases compensation and pension is payable to a person who has sustained an accident at work since 1 January 2003.

Funeral benefit is aimed at reimbursing the costs of funerals of insured persons and/or their family members.

Minimum Guarantee Benefit provides a minimum amount of Polish pension to a man with 25 years of contributions and a woman with 20 years of contributions even if the person lives outside Poland.

Act reference: SS(IntAgree)Act Schedule 25 Republic of Poland

Last reviewed: 4 January 2016