Types of social insurance and principles of subjection to these insurances within ZUS

The Polish social insurance system includes:

  • old-age pension insurance,
  • disability and survivor’s pension insurance,
  • sickness insurance,
  • work accident insurance.

An insured person is an individual who is covered by at least one of the social insurance schemes.
The Act on the social insurance system has introduced compulsory insurance and voluntary insurance.

Compulsory retirement and benefit insurance cover relates to, among others:

  • employees, except for public prosecutors,
  • members of agricultural production cooperatives,
  • freelancers / contractors,
  • persons running a non-agricultural business activity,
  • members of the clergy,
  • Members of Parliament receiving remuneration,
  • recipients of unemployment benefits,
  • those on childcare and parenting leave or claiming maternity benefit (pay) or benefits at the rate of maternity benefit.

Those who do not fulfil the conditions allowing for compulsory retirement and benefit insurance cover have the right to voluntarily contribute to these insurance schemes.
The number of insured persons in 2014 equalled 14.525 million.

Compulsory sickness insurance covers persons subject to compulsory pension insurance, being:

  • employees, except for public prosecutors,
  • members of agricultural production cooperatives and rural cooperative circles,
  • persons undergoing substitute military service.

The sickness insurance may be joined, on a voluntary basis (on request), by persons covered by compulsory pension insurance, including:

  • persons running a non-agricultural business activity,
  • persons performing work on the basis of civil law mandatory or agency contracts.

Compulsory work accident insurance covers persons subject to pension insurance, for example: employees, freelancers / contractors, members of agricultural production cooperatives, persons running a non-agricultural business activity and persons collaborating with them.