The number one benefit employees in Serbia care about is health insurance. This gives them access to private health clinics which provide better service and care than the national health service. When asked to rank three other common employee benefits in order of importance, Serbian employees will likely say: Retirement, Death, and Disability.
New employers in Serbia are often surprised by the fact that employees are not well educated about employee benefits.
The average cost of employee sponsored benefits is €5 per month.
Mandatory employee benefits in Serbia include retirement and personal accident insurance. Supplementary employee benefits include health insurance and paid time off.
Mandatory employee benefits in Serbia
Pension (State Scheme)
The Law on Retirement and Disability Insurance regulates compulsory retirement and disability insurance in Serbia.
Retirement and disability insurance assures rights to certain benefits in cases of certain risks stipulated by Law (old-age risk, the risk of full loss of working ability – namely disability, the risk of death, the risk of bodily damage caused by industrial injury or occupational disease).
The right to benefits (for the above-listed risks) in the area of retirement and disability insurance are:
- The right to old-age pension.
- The right to disability pension.
- The right to pecuniary benefit for bodily damage.
- The right to career’s allowance.
The listed benefits, acquired and exercised under the conditions prescribed by law, assure material and social security of contributors.
The Serbian Pension Plan is a mandatory and contributory savings plan for all employed Serbians. Employees contribute 14% and employers 11.5%.
Income can start as early as 35 working years for women, 40 for men, or age 65.
The Law on Voluntary Pension Funds and Pension Plans in the Republic of Serbia introduced, as of April 1st, 2006, voluntary retirement insurance (the so-called ‘third pillar’) which, contrary to the system of compulsory insurance, does not comprise disability insurance.
Group Personal Accident Insurance
It is obligatory for employers to provide group personal accident insurance and occupational diseases and work-related diseases for all employees (under law on safety and health at work). This policy covers death due to accident and permanent disability. Additional coverage for daily compensations, bone breakages, etc. can be added. According to market practice, all (100%) of employers provide this policy separate from payroll deductions. The market practice is that policies are based on sums insured as determined by the employer and not multiples of salary.
Long Term Disability and Short-Term Disability are provided under the state scheme.
Supplementary Employee Benefits
Group Life Benefits
Eighty percent of companies provide supplemental life insurance with a benefit of 1-2x annual salary.
Due to Anti Money Laundering requirements, there are significant documentation requirements needed in order to implement a life insurance policy. In the past, many employers opted not to implement life insurance in order to avoid the paperwork involved. However, the practice is changing because banks are now requiring a similar level with the same details. Given that many employers are providing these documents already to banks, it is less onerous to provide them to obtain life insurance as well.
There are two forms of private medical insurance (PMI) available in Serbia:
- Reimbursement PMI (known as voluntary health insurance).
- Critical illness and surgical cash benefit insurance.
Both covers are mainly written on an employee group basis, the latter as a rider to group Personal Accident (PA) policies. Although the market statistics are difficult to interpret, it seems that lump sum riders are more common.
Lump sum medical insurance was developed in response to the underfunding of state healthcare, which forces state hospital patients to pay many of their treatment costs in cash. These low-cost riders are tax deductible for the employer and provide a typical sum insured of RSD 200,000 per employee. Reimbursement PMI policies cover outpatient and/or inpatient costs at private healthcare facilities in Serbia. The most common policy type covers outpatient costs to an annual limit of EUR 2,000. More generous employers will cover inpatient and outpatient costs to a limit of EUR 10,000.
Forty percent of companies provide additional medical insurance, and currently the best benefit on the market provides all employees treatment in 500+ clinics. Small companies may pay premiums for dependents, however larger companies offer employee rates to dependents that the employee covers.
Extended healthcare includes prescription drug coverage, hospital and supplemental healthcare, dental and vision.
Paid Time Off
Maternity / Paternity Pay – Maternity Benefits
It is statutory for employers to allow 365 day leave for maternity and infant care, to begin not more than 45 days before delivery and no later than 28 days before delivery. Compensation during leave depends on the amount of time worked prior to leave:
- 6 months + of service: 100% of average annual salary provided (up to five average monthly salaries in Serbia
- 3-6 months of service: 60% of average annual salary
- Less than 3 months of service: 30% of average annual salary.
Related government websites
- Ministry of Health
- Republic Fund of Health Insurance
- Tax Administration under the Ministry of Finance
- Institute for Social Insurance