Types of social insurance and insurance coverage principles

Types of social insurance and insurance coverage principles are governed by the Act of 13 October 1998 on the social insurance system.

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 distinguishes compulsory insurance and voluntary insurance.

Compulsory old-age pension and disability pension insurance relates to, among others:

  • employees, except for public prosecutors,
  • members of agricultural production cooperatives,
  • contractors,
  • persons running a non-agricultural business activity,
  • members of the clergy,
  • Members of Parliament receiving remuneration,
  • recipients of unemployment benefits,
  • persons on child-care leave or receiving maternity allowance or benefits at the rate of the maternity allowance,
  • members of supervisory boards.

Those who do not fulfil the conditions allowing for compulsory old-age and disability pension insurance have the right to voluntarily contribute to these insurance schemes.

The number of insured persons in 2018 equalled 15,847.6 thousand.

Compulsory sickness insurance covers persons subject to compulsory pension insurance, that is:

  • 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, and
  • persons performing work on the basis of civil law mandatory or agency contracts.

Compulsory work accident insurance covers persons subject to old-age and disability pension insurance, for example:

  • employees,
  • contractors,
  • members of agricultural production cooperatives,
  • persons running a non-agricultural business activity,
  • persons collaborating with persons running a non-agricultural business activity.