[Updated 3/26/23] 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
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 harm,
In the event of the need for assistance and care of another person:
- Right to monetary compensation for the 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 45 working years for women and 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’), contrary to the compulsory insurance system, does not comprise disability insurance.
Group Personal Accident Insurance
Employers must provide all employees with group personal accident insurance and occupational and work-related diseases [SV-GR1] (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%) employers provide this policy separate from payroll deductions. The market practice is that policies are based on sums insured as determined by the employer, 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, significant documentation requirements are needed to implement a life insurance policy. In the past, many employers opted not to implement life insurance to avoid the paperwork involved. However, the practice is changing because banks now require a similar level with the same details. Given that many employers are providing these documents already to banks, it is less onerous to offer 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, lump sum riders seem 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 €,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 of leave for maternity and infant care. This leave can begin 45 days before delivery and no later than 28 days before delivery. Compensation while on leave depends on the time worked before going on maternity or paternity leave.
Related government websites
- Ministry of Health
- Republic Fund of Health Insurance
- Tax Administration under the Ministry of Finance
- Institute for Social Insurance
This information about mandatory and supplemental employee benefits in Serbia comes from Asinta’s Central and Eastern European Partner, the GrECo Group.