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Social Insurance System in Slovakia

 

The Social Insurance System in Slovakia has been newly defined by Act No 461/2003 Coll. on Social Insurance effective as of January 2004. The Act specifies the social insurance, amends the range of social insurance, legal relations within social insurance performance, the organisation of social insurance, the financing of social insurance, the state supervision over social insurance performance and acting in matters of the social insurance.

The aforementioned Act does not relate to the so called power branches, i.e. members of the Police Force, the Slovak Information Service, the National Security Authority, the Corps and Prison Court Guard, the Railroad Police, the Fire and Rescue Brigade, the Mountain Infantry Service, customs officers, professional armed forces personnel.

The Social Insurance System in Slovakia comprises apart from the sickness insurance, pension insurance and accident insurance, also of the unemployment insurance with the current inclusion of the legal form of providing benefits out of this system, and of the insurance in case of employer’s insolvency named the guarantee insurance. The competency in the area of unemployment benefits provision and guarantee insurance benefits has been taken over from the National Labour Office by the Social Insurance Agency (SIA). The SIA provides for disbursement of unemployment benefits, the job seeking registry is administered by the Centre of Labour, Social Affairs and Family.

The Social Insurance Agency is a statutory institution with a nationwide competency in the area of the sickness insurance, the pension insurance, the accident insurance, the unemployment insurance and the guarantee insurance. Its executive bodies consist of the Headquarters and 36 Branch Offices.

The Headquarters regulates, controls and methodologically guides Branch Offices, and is in charge of the pension insurance area and of two types of benefits from the accident insurance. Branch Offices are responsible for the collection and recovery of the sickness, unemployment and guarantee contributions, benefits pay out, as well as for a direct contact with clients.

The scope of operation of the SIA within the application of EC Law.

SIA has been designated to be the competent and the liaison institution for the following branches of social security:

  • Sickness benefit
  • Maternity and equivalent paternity benefits
  • Invalidity benefits
  • Old - age benefits
  • Survivors´ benefits
  • Benefits in respect of accidents at work and occupational diseases
  • Unemployment benefits

Sickness Insurance

Benefits provided by the SIA in this area are the cash benefits, the benefits in kind are provided by the Health Insurance Companies. The cash benefit types include: sickness benefit, nursing benefit, equalization benefit, maternity benefit. The sickness benefits are provided from the social insurance system from the 11th day of employee’s working incapacity, in the case of a self – employed person and a voluntarily insured person from the 1st day of a temporary working incapacity until the end of the working incapacity, or until the recognition of invalidity, no longer than 52 weeks from the commencement of the temporary working incapacity. The calculation method of a daily amount of the sickness benefit has been simplified and unified for employees, self – employed persons and voluntarily insured persons. During the temporary working incapacity, the employee´ s income replacement is during the first ten days provided by an employer, the sickness benefit is then provided by the SIA from the 11th day.

Sickness benefit is provided per days, in the first 3 days the benefit equals to 25% of the daily assessment basis, from 4th day of the temporary incapacity for work the cash sickness benefit is 55% of the daily assessment basis.

The benefit is payable up to one year of the temporary incapacity, after this period the health condition must be re-examined.

Nursing benefit is provided per days in the amount of 55% of the daily assessment basis from the first day of attendance on a sick child, a husband, a wife, a parent or on a sick parent of his/her spouse whose health condition requires the treatment provided by another natural person.

Equalization benefit - the female employee is entitled to this kind of benefit, if redeployed for another job, as the work performed before is prohibited to pregnant women or, according to the medical report threatens her pregnancy, and the work she was transferred to provides for a lower income without her fault, compared to the income she had earned before her redeployment. The amount of the equalization benefit is 55% of the difference between the monthly assessment basis and the assessment basis from which the female employee pays premium for the sickness insurance in separate calendar months after being transferred to another job. The equalization benefit is provided for a calendar month, particularly even if the female employee was transferred to another job or secondment was finished during the calendar month.

Maternity benefit is provided per days in the amount of 75% of the daily assessment basis. The entitlement of the pregnant insured woman or of the insured woman taking care of a new born child is awarded provided that the person concerned has been insured at least 270 days within the period of two years prior to the confinement.

The benefit is payable for -34 weeks (37 weeks for the single mother and 43 weeks for multiple births) including at least six weeks before the expected date of childbirth.

The maternity benefit can be claimed apart from the mother of the child also by another insuree.

Another insuree is:

  • the father of the child
    • On condition the mother died
    • On condition, based on the medical assessment, the mother is neither able nor allowed to care about the child due to her unfavourable health condition lasting at least one month, and on condition the mother of the child is not in receipt of the maternity benefit or the paternal allowance
    • Based on the agreement with the mother, after elapsing six months after the child delivery at the earliest, and in the event the mother of the child is not in receipt of the maternity benefit or the paternal allowance
    • the spouse of the mother of the child, on condition, based on the medical assessment the mother is neither able nor allowed to care about the child due to her unfavourable health condition lasting at least one month, and on condition the mother of the child is not in receipt of the maternity benefit or the paternal allowance
  • the spouse of the father of the child if caring about the child whose mother died
  • the natural person if caring about the child based on the decision taken by the competent authority.

The maternity benefit claim commences to another insuree as of the day of taking over the care of the child and ceases by elapsing 28th week from the maternity claim commencement, or by elapsing 31st week from the maternity claim commencement if lone, or 37th week from the maternity claim commencement of taking over two or more children.

Accident Insurance

Insurance of employer’s responsibility against working injury and occupational disease has been changed into the new insurance system - the accident insurance. This insurance is mandatory for the employer, except the employer as a judge and prosecutor. There is no minimum qualifying period required. The employer´ s accident insurance originates from the day he/she employed at least one employee and terminates by the day when no employee is engaged. Within the accident insurance the whole range of benefits is provided depending on the character of events, either repeatedly or as lump-sum payments. The categorization of accident benefits is as follows: additional accidental benefit, accidental rent, lump-sum settlement, survivor’s rent, lump–sum compensation, professional rehabilitation and rehabilitation benefit, retraining and retraining benefit, pain compensation and compensation for difficulties with social reintegration, compensation for medical expenses, funeral expenses reimbursement. The entitlement to accident benefits in the case of working injury and occupational disease of the damaged person is in compliance with the legislation granted only in proportion to the employer´ s responsibility, i.e. the benefit provided to the damaged employee is reduced by the rate of his/her evincible infliction.

Pension Insurance

The pension system reform required a re-definition and creation of a new institutional framework of the new systems. The implementation of the new social insurance system is based on most recent trends and experience from countries that have launched the fully-funded pillar system earlier than the Slovak Republic. The pension reform has been designed to build up a modern system of social security in the Slovak Republic, based on three pillars representing an important mandatory public pillar(1stpay-as-you-go pillar), old-age pension saving system(2nd pillar). The new system of social security is enhanced through tax deductible voluntary saving/insurance schemes, supported by the state (3rd pillar).

As it comes to the role of the SIA in the pension insurance as a whole, the SIA administers the 1st pillar, and is responsible for collecting of contributions for the 2nd pillar as well as for registering of contracts with Pension Asset Management Companies.

The retirement age introduced by the Act on Social Insurance is extended gradually (until the end of year 2023), and has currently been unified for men and women up to 62 years. The qualifying condition for entitlement to the old- age pension is 15 years of insurance and reaching the pensionable age. According to Act on Social Insurance, the following types of pension benefits are provided from the pension insurance system by the SIA: the old-age pension, the early old-age pension, the invalidity pension, and survivors´ pensions i.e. widow´ s pension, widower’s pension, orphan´ s pension.

Old- age pension - the amount of old-age pension is determined as a product of the average personal wage point, the period of pension insurance acquired as of the day of occurrence of the claim to the old-age pension and the current pension value; with effect from July 1, 2015, some old age pension beneficiaries and invalidity pension beneficiaries who have reached the pensionable age, after satisfying other qualifying conditions, are entitled to the pension increase up to the level of the minimum pension.

A new kind of benefit introduced by the Act on Social insurance is the early old -age pension. The qualifying condition is achievement of at least 15 years of pension insurance, lacking maximum of two years to reach the retirement age, and satisfying the condition of reaching the amount of the early old age pension on the date when he/she claimed its awarding higher than 1.2 multiple of the minimum subsistence for an adult natural person by the day of claiming the benefit. The qualifying condition for the insuree who has achieved old age saving period is as of 1st January 2015 is achievement of at least 15 years of pension insurance period, lacking maximum of two years to reach the retirement age, and satisfying the condition of reaching aggregate of sums of the early old age pension and early old age pension under special regulation on the date when he/she claimed awarding of the early old age pension higher than 1.2 multiple of the minimum subsistence for an adult natural person.

Invalidity pension – the qualifying condition is a reduction of capacity to perform the gainful activity due to a long term unfavourable health condition (longer than 1 year) by more than 40%, and achieving the required insurance period as of the day of invalidity occurrence and non qualifying to the old- age pension, or non awarding the early old - age pension. The pension insurance period is not required on condition the invalidity occurred due to the working injury or the occupational disease.

Survivors´ pension insurance includes widow´s pension, widower’s pension and orphan’s pension.

Widow's pension represents 60% of the insured deceased person´s pension. Entitled to this kind of benefit is the widow whose husband was receiving the old age pension, the invalidity pension or was entitled to the early old age pension as of the day of his death, or satisfied conditions of the old - age pension entitlement as of the day of his death, or achieved the number of years of the pension insurance necessary to qualify to the invalidity pension as of the day of his death, or died due to the working injury or the occupational disease. The entitlement ceases:

  •  by contracting of marriage
  •  by the day validity of the court ruling according to which the widow caused the death of her husband by a wilful criminal act.

Widower's pension represents 60% of the insured deceased person’s pension. Entitled to this kind of benefit is the widower whose wife was receiving the old age pension, the invalidity pension or was entitled to the early old age pension as of the day of her death, or satisfied conditions of the old- age pension entitlement as of the day of her death, or achieved the number of years of the pension insurance necessary to qualify to the invalidity pension as of the day of her death, or died due to the working injury or the occupational disease The entitlement ceases:

  •  by contracting of marriage
  •  by the day of the court ruling validity according to which the widow caused the death of his wife by a wilful criminal act.

Orphan's pension

Entitled of this type of benefit is the dependent child after a deceased parent or an adopter who as of the day of his/her death was receiving the old age pension, the invalidity pension or was entitled to the early old age pension, or as of the day of his/her death completed the number of pension insurance years to qualify to the invalidity pension, or qualified to old- age pension or died due to a working injury or an occupational disease.

The amount of orphan ´s pension represents: 40% of the insured deceased parent/adopter´ s old- age or invalidity pension to which the deceased parent/adopter was entitled or would be entitled; or 40% of the insured deceased parent/adopter ´s early old- age pension to which the deceased person was entitled by the day of his/her death.

The entitlement to orphan pension ceases: by reaching the age of 26 years of the dependent child; as of the day of the validity of the court ruling according to which the dependent child caused the death of his/her parent or adopter.

 

Equalizing Supplement

The Equalizing Supplement is to safeguard so that the total amount of the Slovak and Czech old age pension reaches the amount of pension which would pertain to the insuree, on condition also period of security completed before January 1, 1993, was taken into account for the purpose of the Slovak old age pension.

Entitled to this Supplement is the Slovak old age pension beneficiary who receives also the Czech old age pension. The entitlement occurs at the earliest as of January 1, 2016, after satisfying qualifying conditions.

Entitlement to the Equalizing Supplement disbursement lasts over the period of existence of the entitlement of Slovak and Czech old age pension benefit disbursement.

Unemployment Insurance

The system of social insurance also includes the system of unemployment insurance. The insuree is entitled to the unemployment benefit on condition he/she had unemployment insurance for at least two years (i.e. 730 days) within the past four years before being included into the Jobseekers Register. The entitlement ceases to by elapsing six month period from the commencement of the benefit entitlement, or as of the day of granting the old-age pension, the early old- age pension and the invalidity pension due to incapacity to perform gainful activity by more than 70 %. The unemployment insurance does not relate to the natural person who had been awarded the old age pension, early old age pension or disability pension due to a loss of earning capacity of more than 70 % or has not been awarded disability pension and has reached pensionable age. The unemployment benefit is provided per days. The amount of unemployment benefit equals to 50 % of the daily assessment basis times number of days in the month. The daily assessment basis to determine the unemployment benefit is the quotient of assessment basis footings for payment of unemployment insurance contributions completed by the person in past two years.

The insuree is not entitled to the unemployment benefit disbursement in the period when being granted:

  • Sickness benefit,
  • Nursing benefit,
  • Maternity benefit,
  • Parental allowance.

 

Guarantee Insurance

It is the insurance in case of the employer´s insolvency. Entitled to this type of benefit is the employee whose employer has become insolvent and as a result cannot provide for satisfying of employees´entitlements. The applicant may claim his/her benefit of guarantee insurance at the most to the extent and for the period of three months of last 18 months of his/her employment duration preceding the commencement of insolvency, or as of the termination date of his/her employment relationship by reasons of the employer´s insolvency. The guarantee insurance benefit is a one-time benefit.