The number one employee benefit people in Bulgaria care about is medical insurance because the national health service does not include some of the vital care. A good company health plan will help provide effective, comprehensive healthcare.
Food vouchers, mobile phones and company cars are currently very popular among Bulgarian employees.
The average cost of employer sponsored benefits in Bulgaria varies widely depending on the benefits supplied. The amount of up to BGN 60 per employee per month, paid by the employer for voluntary health insurance, life insurance or voluntary pension insurance is treated as tax free social cost for the employer.
Mandatory employee benefits in Bulgaria include contributions to the State run pension and healthcare systems. Common supplementary employee benefits in Bulgaria include healthcare, accident insurance, group life insurance and voluntary pension insurance. Perks include food vouchers, gym memberships, mobile phones, transportation benefits and employee assistance programs.
Mandatory Employee Benefits in Bulgaria
These benefits are imposed by law, and provided and administrated by Public Institutions
State Social Insurance System
This is legally regulated by the Social Security Code, administrated by the National Revenue Agency and the National Security Institute. It provides benefits in the form of:
- Financial compensation in case of temporary disability and temporary reduced ability to work, resulting from general disease, occupational accident or occupational disease. This benefit substitutes the salary and equals 80% or 90% of the monthly income depending on the case (general disease or occupational accident).
- In case of permanent disability, a disability pension will be available, and offers preventive care, assistance devices, rehabilitation.
- Maternity (pregnancy, child delivery and raising a child) – This benefit is available for 410 days, 45 of which prior to baby delivery. After that period, if the mother continues to look after her baby, she can receive monthly compensations defined as a lump sum (BGN 380 for 2020) until the child becomes 2 years old.
- Lifetime pension for the full contribution period, and age, and also a social minimum pension under certain conditions.
- For example, for persons retiring in 2020, the age is 61 years and six months for women and 35 years and ten months contribution period, while for men it is 64 years and three months and 38 years and ten months contribution period.
- By 2037 the retirement age will be 65 years for both men and women, and the only difference will be the contribution period that is fixed at 37 years for women and 40 years for men.
If the above requirements are not met, a minimum social pension will be available at the age of 67 and 15 years contribution period.
- In case of death, a one-off sum is paid, and a survivor’s pension is available.
- In case of loss of job, people will be entitled to an unemployment compensation – an amount, determined daily for a definite period of time.
State Healthcare System
Medical insurance is mandatory as legally stipulated in the Health Insurance Act and is implemented by the National Health Insurance Fund. The type and volume of medical services (inpatient and outpatient treatment, dental care) are defined yearly via the Annual Health Fund budget and the National budget.
Supplementary but mandatory, implemented via private pension companies
Since the year 2000, pension reform has been underway, and the key amendment is the structure of the pension system which will transfer to three-pillars’ system.
- The first pillar is organized on the costs-covering basis and solidarity principle.
- The second pillar is supplementary, but mandatory for all occupied people born after 1960, and for those who work under heavier conditions.
- The pension is formed on a capital basis and the contributions are accumulated in an individual account.
- Universal and occupational pension funds managed by private pension insurance companies are the key figures, strongly regulated and supervised by the Financial Supervision Commission.
As on 2015 a new legal change was launched, and people can choose whether to contribute to the supplementary universal pension fund or to the State pension fund (in this case they still have the individual account but the funds will not be invested).
- The contributions to the State Insurance System are based on the gross remuneration, but are limited to maximum monthly basis of BGN 3,000 for 2020. There is also a minimum threshold that depends on the economic sector and qualification.
- The contributions for occupational accident and occupational disease are at the employer’s expense. All others are split between the employer and the employee in a different proportion.
- For 2020 the contribution is 32.30% which includes all compulsory instalments that are directly deducted from the salary and handled by the employer.
This is how payroll deductions look for mandatory employee benefits in Bulgaria. Amounts are divided between the employee and the employer.
|Deductions (2020):||Total||аt the expense of employee||at the expense of employer|
|State Social Insurance contributions: (disability, general disease, maternity, old age pension)||19.30%||8.38%||10.92%|
|Retirement (Supplementary Mandatory Pension Security, second pillar)||5.00%||2.20%||2.80%|
|Healthcare contributions (Mandatory medical insurance)||8.00%||3.20%||4.80%|
|Occupational Accident and disease||0.4-1.1%|
|Personal Income Tax is based on the net salary (gross salary minus all contributions)||10%|
Mandatory benefits imposed by law, regulated by the Insurance Code, and implemented via private insurance companies
For economic activities with occupational injury ratio that is equal or higher than the average for the country, employers are obliged to secure occupational accident insurance with a sum insured of 7 annual salaries of each employee. The list of higher risk business sectors is updated annually.
The employer is also obliged to finance all costs that an employee may suffer for medical services while on a business trip abroad, thus Travel insurance which is not compulsory, is highly recommended.
Voluntary Employee Benefits Secured as Insurances
Medical insurance is the most appreciated benefit among employees. This benefit can be used as a supplement or in some cases as an alternative to the State’s medical insurance. Typically, it provides cover for outpatient treatment with immediate access to specialty practitioners and expensive tests, inpatient treatment including internal prosthesis and modern surgery consumables that are not paid by the mandatory insurance, reimbursement of medicines and eye glasses costs, and dental care with limits.
The covid-19 crisis boosted digitalization including mobile apps implemented to support this insurance with upload of documents, call-centers, on-line appointments and so on.
Most employers provide this benefit. This insurance provides compensation in case of death, permanent or temporary disability as result of an accident only, it is a budgeted benefit.
Group Life Insurance
This benefit is popular and expected by employees.
Voluntary pension insurance
Employers and the employees split the cost of this insurance.
The above voluntary benefits (except Accident) are subject to favorable tax treatment, if accessible to all employees, a tax-deduction of up to BGN 60 per employee per month is applicable.
Bulgaria is turning into a preferred destination of technology and outsourcing companies, so a lot of modern benefits are stepping in the market, such as:
- Food Vouchers (used mainly by production enterprises)
- Gym cards /Multisport Cards, fitness and other sport facilities (swimming pools)
- Mobile Phones
- Transportation allowances and company cars for managers
- Employee Assistance Programs
Related Government Websites