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.
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 (the “Law”) 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 – e.g., 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 are the following:
In the event of old age:
- Right to old-age pension
- Right to early retirement
In the event of disability:
- Right to disability pension
In the event of death:
- Right to family pension
- Right to the reimbursement of funeral expenses
In the event of bodily damage caused by an injury at work or occupational disease:
- Right to monetary compensation for bodily damage,
In the event of the need for assistance and care of another person:
- Right to monetary compensation for assistance and care of another person.
The listed benefits acquired and exercised under the conditions prescribed by law, assure the 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 435 working years for women, 40 for men, or age 65, and at least 15 working years. There is a special regime for women where the minimum age is increased by two months starting from 2020 until reaching age 65 in 2032.
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[SV-GR1] for all employees (under Law on Safety and Health at Work). This policy covers death due to accidents 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
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 €1,000 – €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. 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 days 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, namely the base of salary compensation, i.e. salary compensation during maternity leave and leave from work for child care, shall be determined on the basis of the sum of monthly bases on which contributions to income are paid, for the last 18 months preceding the first month of the beginning of the leave due to complications related to the maintenance of pregnancy, or maternity leave, if they leave due to complications related to the maintenance of pregnancy has not been used.:
Related government websites
- Ministry of Health
- Republic Fund of Health Insurance
- Tax Administration under the Ministry of Finance
- Institute for Social Insurance