National legislation

The social security system in Poland is composed of: the social insurance and welfare system, health insurance system, benefits in respect of unemployment and family benefits.

Tasks in the sphere of social security are exercised by many institutions, including:

  • Social Insurance Institution (Zakład Ubezpieczeń Społecznych, ZUS) – cash benefits and benefits in kind provided from the social insurance under the pension prevention,
  • Agricultural Social Insurance Fund (Kasa Rolniczego Ubezpieczenia Społecznego, KRUS) – money and material benefits in the form of benefit payments made within the framework of benefit prevention from farmer’s social insurance,
  • Ministry of Family, Labour and Social Policy (Ministerstwo Rodziny, Pracy i Polityki Społecznej) – benefits in respect of unemployment, family benefits and social benefits (from social assistance),
  • National Health Fund (Narodowy Fundusz Zdrowia, NFZ) – benefits in kind from health insurance,
  • the Open Pension Funds (otwarte fundusze emerytalne, OFEs) – the depositing and investing of funds to finance a part of an individual’s old-age pension under the new rules within the second pillar of the pension scheme.
  • Occupational Pension Programmes (pracownicze programy emerytalne, PPEs) – the depositing and investing of funds to finance a supplementary (voluntary) part of an individual’s old-age pension under the new rules within the second pillar of the pension scheme.

Many legal acts govern the legal obligation of insurance to function in the case of certain social contingencies and the guaranteeing of benefits on the occurrence of such contingencies, starting from the supreme legal act – the Constitution of the Republic of Poland.

The detailed regulations governing individual areas of social security are contained in separate Acts of Parliament. The most important of them include:

  • the Act of 13 October 1998 on the social insurance system (Legal Gazette of 2015, item 121),
  • the Act of 17 December 1998 on pensions from the Social Insurance Fund (Legal Gazette of 2013, item 1440 as amended),
  • the Act of 21 November 2008 on the old-age funded pensions (Legal Gazette of 2014, item 1097 as amended),
  • the Act of 28 August 1997 on the organisation and operation of old-age pension funds (Legal Gazette of 2013, item 989 as amended),
  • the Act of 19 December 2008 on the old-age bridging pensions (Legal Gazette no. 237, item 1656 as amended),
  • the Act of 25 June 1999 on cash social insurance benefits in respect of sickness and maternity (Legal Gazette of 2014, item 159),
  • the Act of 30 October 2002 on social insurance in respect of accidents at work and occupational diseases (Legal Gazette of 2009 no. 167, item 1322 as amended),
  • the Act of 27 June 2003 on the social pension (Legal Gazette of 2013, item 982 as amended),
  • the Act of 30 April 2004 on pre-retirement benefits (Legal Gazette of 2013, item 170),
  • the act of the 23rd of January 2008 on the transfer of retirement benefit rights of European Union civil servants (Legal Gazette of 2008 no. 47, item 274).

Health care benefits are granted pursuant to:

  • the Act of 27 August 2004 on health care benefits financed by public funds (Legal Gazette of 2015, item 581).

Benefits in respect of unemployment are granted pursuant to:

  • the Act of 20 April 2004 on employment promotion and labour market institutions (Legal Gazette of 2015, item 149).

Benefits from the social insurance of farmers are granted pursuant to:

  • the Act of 20 December 1990 on the social insurance of farmers (Legal Gazette of 2013, item 1403 as amended).

Social assistance benefits are granted pursuant to:

  • the Act of 12 March 2004 on social assistance (Legal Gazette of 2015, item 163).

Family benefits are granted pursuant to:

  • the Act of 28 November 2003 on family benefits (Legal Gazette of 2015, item 114).

Carer benefits are given on the basis of the act of:

  • the Act of 4 April 2014 on the establishment and payment of allowances for guardians (Legal Gazette of 2014, item 567).

Benefits from the Maintenance Fund are granted pursuant to:

  • the Act of 7 September 2007 on assistance for persons entitled to a maintenance allowance (Legal Gazette of 2012, item 1228 as amended).

Social aid/benefit is given on the basis of:

  • the Act of the 12th of March 2004 on social assistance (Legal Gazette of 2015, item 163).

Vocational and social rehabilitation and the employment of disabled persons is carried out pursuant to:

  • the Act of 27 August 1997 on the vocational and social rehabilitation and employment of disabled persons (Legal Gazette of 2011, no. 127, item 721 as amended).