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Pension plans in Zagreb

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"Old age" pension benefits are paid out to individuals who are 65 years of age and older and who have worked for at least 15 years. Anticipatory pension is awarded to those who are 60 years of age and have worked for 35 years.

Pension insurance may also include invalidity pension due to incapacity for work and survivors' pension in the case of the insured's death.

Three Pillar Scheme

Croatia has a three-tier pension plan that was designed to accommodate its mixed public/private system.

Pillar 1

This is a pay as you go (PAYGO) system financed by contributions and state budget revenues. All employees must contribute at least 15% of their monthly income; employees insured only under Pillar 1 contribute 20%.

Pillar 2

Pillar 2 is a compulsory pension insurance based on individual capitalized savings. All employees must pay 5% of their income into Pillar 2 funds (private pension) in addition to the 15% paid under Pillar 1.

Pillar 2 is mandatory and is additional to the first pillar for everyone who was under the age of 40 in 2002; however, persons who were aged between 40 and 50 in 2002 were able to opt out.

The Central Registry of Affiliates (REGOS) provides information and support for those insured under Pillar 2.

Pillar 3

Pillar 3 is voluntary pension insurance based on individual capitalized savings and has been open to all citizens since March 2002.


Like Croatian citizens, foreign nationals who are contracted employees of companies in Croatia contribute to and are eligible to receive social security benefits.

Making Contributions while Abroad

Croatia has signed an International Agreement on Social Security with a number of countries, making it easier for foreign nationals employed in Croatia to make contributions while working and collect pension insurance later in life. This agreement also helps to prevent double taxation.

A full list of countries that have a social security agreement with Croatia is provided by the Croatian Institute for Pension Insurance (HZMO).

Principles applied in all agreements are:

  • Equal treatment
  • Aggregation of completed insurance and residence periods
  • Pro rata temporis
  • Export of benefits
  • Equivalence of territories to avoid overlapping of benefits
  • Maintenance of acquired rights and rights in course of acquisition

If you have any questions about your eligibility to contribute to and collect pension insurance in Croatia, contact HZMO or REGOS.

Collecting Pension while Abroad

As Croatia is slated to enter the European Union on July 1, 2013, EU regulations regarding pension rights will apply.

Current EU regulations coordinate the different social security organizations for European pension rights. You can benefit from this coordination if you are a citizen of the European Economic Area (EEA: European Union + Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Switzerland). The age from when it is possible to claim benefits depends on the country in charge of settling the pension (the different periods must be validated by each state where contributions have been made).

Each institution where you contributed will calculate the amount to be paid according to:

  • its legislation (national pension)
  • by adding together all working periods in all the member states and calculating proportionally with the time spent in the state (Proportional or communitarian pension)

Each state that calculates pension on your behalf will make payments. The initial request is generally made in the country where you live at the time. This institution will be in charge of liaising with institutions in other countries. The payment of each country usually depends on the rules existing in each state.

For more information on EU regulations, consult EU Social Security Coordination.

Additionally, Croatia has several social security agreements that may influence how you collect pension. To find out if your country has a social security agreement with Croatia, visit the website of the Croatian Institute for Pension Insurance.

Update 14/03/2016


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