Social security system in Croatia includes the right to health and pension insurance. For more information on health insurance, please visit Health Insurance & Medical Care section.
The pension system in Croatia is a combined public/private system based on a three-pillar scheme:
1st Pillar: Pay as you go (PAYGO) system financed by contributions and state budget revenues
The first pillar mandatory pension fund is the responsibility of the Croatian Pension Insurance Institute (Hrvatski zavod za mirovinsko osiguranje, HZMO). All employees are obliged to pay 15% of their total monthly income into the fund. The protection of the beneficiaries is provided in the form of minimum pension (guaranteed right), and restriction in the form of maximum pension. The acquisition of all first pillar pensions depends, in addition to age conditions, on the length of qualifying (mostly insurance) periods completed.
2nd Pillar: Compulsory pension insurance based on individual capitalized savings
The second pillar is mandatory for persons who were under the age of 40 in 2002, and is additional to the first pillar. Persons who were between 40 and 50 years of age in 2002 were able to opt-out. Those who did, as well as people older than 50 in 2002, remained insured only under the first pillar, but their contribution equals 20% of gross salary, thus ensuring equality. For those insured under both pillars, the extra 5% of the total contribution (additional to 15% paid under the first pillar) is directed to the second pillar funds (a private pension fund).
3rd Pillar: Voluntary pension insurance based on individual capitalized savings
3rd Pillar is open to all citizens since March 2002. Every person residing in Croatia can be insured under the 3rd pillar. There are also several Voluntary Funds in Croatia. More information is possible to find on the website of the Croatian Pension Insurance Institute (HZMO).
Foreign researchers working in Croatia have a right to pension insurance in Croatia. Registration to the Croatian Pension Insurance Institute is the same as the application procedure for employees who are Croatian citizens.
In the case of EEA, national's pension insurance is regulated with EU regulations on the coordination of social security systems. These regulations are in place between all 27 Member States of the EU. Also, Norway, Iceland, and Liechtenstein as Member States of the European Economic Area (EEA) apply EU regulations for coordination of social security systems with Croatia. EU coordination regulations do not affect national legislation on pension insurance, but they should coordinate them with the national regulations of other EU Member States. The main condition for the application of these Regulations is to be a person subject to the legislation of two or more EU Member States during your working life (the so-called "migratory clause"). If the person is subjected to the legislation of only one EU Member State, then the regulations for coordination do not apply. In this way, the EU regulations for coordination do not affect the domestic pensions that are recognized only in Croatian pension insurance.
In the case of third-country, the researcher's pension insurance is usually regulated with the agreement on social security between Croatia and non-EEA countries. If the country in which third-country researcher lives and works had signed an agreement on social security with Croatia, under certain conditions their benefits in the Croatian pension insurance can be transferred and added to the rights they exercise by paying contributions to their state. In other words, a third-country researcher will keep the pension rights during their mobility period in Croatia, i.e. the period during which they worked in Croatia, if not otherwise stipulated by the Agreement on Social Security between Croatia and their home country.
The application process for foreigners in the Croatian Pension Insurance Institute is the same as the application procedure for the employees who are Croatian nationals. The procedure is usually done by the employer electronically, by E-application. E-application is a web application enabling its users to register in/deregister from the pension insurance, report eventual status changes during the insurance period, report the commencement/cessation of the business operation of a contribution payer or report the change of its data. If not done electronically, then it can be done personally at the Croatian Pension Insurance Institute (HZMO). The registration to the Croatian Pension Insurance Institute has to be done within 8 days before the official start of work or at the latest before the start of work.
You can find more information on the website of the Croatian Pension Insurance Institute.
Documents needed for pension insurance registration are:
- Application form M-1P
- Employment contract or any other contract containing essential clauses of an employment contract.
Since July 1st 2013, the Croatian Pension Insurance Institute has been providing an electronic database record about the labor and legal status of its insurees – electronic record, as a replacement for the employment book. Such electronic record (evidence of a qualifying period) can be obtained via E-građani electronic service (accessible by the provision of e-Pass electronic credentials), or by registering at the website of the Croatian Pension Insurance Institute or in person, in all regional offices and affiliates of the HZMO with the obligatory identification by ID card and OIB number.
Foreigners temporarily staying in Croatia, as well as all foreigners staying less than 90 days and earning an income, need to have a personal identity number (PIN) or OIB (osobni identifikacijski broj). This form of identity number was introduced on January 1st 2009. OIB is needed for all dealings with any kind of officialdom, such as paying taxes and household bills, opening and accessing a bank account, or registering a vehicle. From January 1st 2010, OIB is also used as a tax number.
Foreigners temporarily staying in Croatia will get the OIB automatically upon registration of their stay in the police station, with no special application necessary. If a foreigner already received the OIB number from the Tax Department of the Ministry of Finance, it is advisable to submit a copy of the OIB confirmation while submitting the temporary stay application (to avoid duplications).
In all other cases, OIB is issued by the Tax Department of the Ministry of Finance, in regional offices. The application must be submitted in person, together with the original supporting documents, or by some other authorized person (employer, host institution, etc.). OIB is issued immediately, free of charge.
The list of required documents are:
- OIB request (application form is available in English and German, )
- Authorization for the employer signed by the foreigner (if the request is not submitted in person) – in Croatian
- Copy of a valid travel document, or some other identity document (original may be asked for inspection)