[Updated 3/6/24] Mandatory employee benefits in Colombia include pension, survivor benefits, short-term disability, long-term disability, healthcare, and paid time off. Supplementary employee benefits include health insurance, life insurance, dental plans, funeral/burial plans, company car, and small bonuses. Perks include food vouchers, medical checkups, and birthday holidays.

Asinta Partner
Enrique Acevedo Schwabe


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All Colombian employees are obliged to be affiliated with one of the state benefit schemes or a private sector equivalent. The social security system aims to cover the whole population without any discrimination. The most common benefits package in the market is associated with life insurance, health programs, dental plans, and transportation for certain situations. Employee benefits in Colombia cost approximately 30% to 50% of the annual salary.


Benefits Trends in Colombia

The mental health of employees and their families came to the forefront during the pandemic, and therefore, we’re seeing an increased demand for mindfulness and well-being services.

This demand requires a holistic view of Human Resources’ needs, which has forced brokers to offer an integrated service between benefits and workers’ compensation. These efforts have been multiplied to achieve retention through programs focused on the prevention of mental fatigue, physical fatigue, and symptoms of burnout.

Another rising trend is cybersecurity, which has become one of the biggest vulnerabilities for organizations, especially where employees’ privacy is threatened. This new risk can be mitigated through preventive programs and policies that cover some of the possible losses.

In addition, companies are choosing flexible and personalized benefit programs based on their employees’ income and interests.


Mandatory Employee Benefits in Colombia


Employers pay 12% and employees 4% of their monthly wage. Contractors pay 16%. The maximum contribution per month is equal to 25 minimum monthly salaries (SMMLV). Employees who accumulate four+ minimum salaries contribute 1% to 2% more of their base income to the solidarity fund. Switching between the public and private system every five years is an option for employees. However, they must choose one plan ten years before retirement.

Survivors Benefits

Survivors receive 45% of the employee’s monthly wage and the benefit increases 2% for every 50 additional weeks over the first 500 weeks. This is up to a maximum of 75% of the employee’s basic monthly wage. For pensioners, the survivor receives 100% of what the pensioner was receiving.

Short-Term Disability

Employees collect 66.67% (2/3) of their salary for 90 days plus 50% of their salary for an additional 90 days. A 180-day extension is possible. A subsidy is provided equal to 66.67% of the insured’s earnings in the month before the onset of the disability if the disability is caused by disease. Employers are responsible for paying the sickness benefit for the first three days.

Long-Term Disability

A disability pension depends on the insured’s age at the time of the disability. For insured less than 20 years of age, they must have lost 50% of their labor capacity by a non-work-related cause and must have contributed 26 weeks of premium payments the year before the disability occurred.


Healthcare insurance in Colombia is compulsory and provided by either the public sector or private medical plans. The public healthcare system consists of the Contributive System (CS), which is financed by taxes paid by employers and employees, and the Subsidized System (SS) for those who are unable to pay for their healthcare.

Paid Time Off

Employers in Colombia must offer 15 paid days of annual leave for each year of service. In addition, there are 18 paid public holidays in Colombia. Sick leave, maternity, and other leaves are also part of paid time off in the country.


Supplementary Employee Benefits in Colombia

Supplemental Health Insurance

These plans complement those of the POS, improving the service and quality of the institutions. They are financed in full by the insured with resources different from those of the obligatory contributions. Within the modalities of supplemental plans are the following:

  • Health insurance policies issued by insurance companies.
  • Prepaid medical plans issued by prepaid medical entities.
  • Complementary care plans issued by the health-promoting entities.

To acquire a supplemental health plan, one must be affiliated with the compulsory health plan in the contributing regime. Employers usually extend this benefit to spouses and children.

Life Insurance

Life insurance is an appreciated benefit because it protects families from economic instability in the case of sudden death, disability, or critical illness of a family member, usually the head of the home. Through this, the insurance company agrees to pay an agreed amount (called compensation), usually 12x and 24 monthly salaries, to the beneficiaries upon death and double indemnity due to accident, disability, or critical illness of the insured.

Dental Plans

Dental insurance covers costs related to issues with teeth and gums, as well as preventive care such as annual cleanings. These dental services help employees and dependents maintain better oral health and avoid future problems. Most dental insurance plans cover almost all coverage at 100% in-network. Employers usually extend this benefit to spouses and children.

Funeral or Burial Plans

Offering a funeral insurance policy is the best way to guarantee that the deceased’s close relatives will not have to worry about the significant expense of a funeral while grieving for their loved one. Typically, the policy covers at 100% in-network, and it is voluntary in most cases.

The main coverage of a funeral insurance policy is to cover the expenses generated by funeral assistance when the insured dies. This insurance protects all individuals who have been included as dependents in the policy. Employers usually extend this benefit to spouses, children, siblings, and parents, as the cost is per family and not per individual.

Company Cars

Companies with production operations, are in remote places, or are in the restaurant industry commonly offer cars or other modes of transportation for select employees.

Small Bonuses

Employers commonly offer employees small bonuses in the form of a debit card, which employees can use for gas and groceries, for example.


Employee Perks

  • Additional Pension Plan – Employees want to have a higher pension when they retire and are willing to exchange salary for an additional payment into their pension plan. This has tax benefits for the employee and the employer.
  • Life Insurance – This is more of a benefit but has variations, such as a gap product that covers the gap between the maximum pension a person can obtain and the salary the person is receiving.
  • Complimentary Health Insurance – Colombia’s social security system covers health insurance under a government plan. The perk is to offer a complimentary health plan that basically covers better hotel services in the hospital and the possibility of choosing a specific doctor.
  • Medical Check-Up – Employers may offer employees a yearly general check-up, including blood tests, heart exams, and body scanning, among other things.
  • Food – Some employers provide food that includes drinks, fresh fruit, and snacks.
  • Personal Loans—Employers may offer up to one month’s salary as a loan without a credit review for employees who require loans.
  • Birthday Holiday – Employees do not have to work on their birthdays.
  • Educational Support—Employers pay 50% of postgraduate costs for employees. The employees must agree to stay with the company for a set period or repay these educational expenses.


Related Government Websites

National Superintendent of Health

Ministry of Health

Administrator of the Integrated Platform for Payment of Contributions (PILA)


This information about employee benefits in Colombia is provided by Correcol, Asinta’s employee benefits consulting Partner in Colombia.

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