Pension plans in Sofia

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State Pension Plans in Bulgaria

The Bulgarian pension plan is set up into four pillars:

  • First Pillar – Public pensions – In Bulgaria there is a social and minimum pension. The social pensions are available for people over 70 who have a family income less than the national guaranteed income for 12 months after retirement. The minimum pension is 115% of the social pension and is paid to individuals with low income or incomplete work history.
  • Second Pillar – Mandatory individual accounts – The two types of mandatory individual accounts are occupational and universal pension funds. Occupational funds are for employees in hazardous environments that may reach retirement early and the employee's employer makes contributions. The universal pension covers the employees and the self-employed.
  • Third Pillar – Voluntary pension plans – These plans are fully funded contribution schemes with individual accounts.
  • Fourth Pillar – Voluntary occupational schemes – This plan's coverage is determines by the collective bargaining agreements or employment contracts and is managed by pension fund managing companies.

Who is Eligible for Bulgarian Pension?

The sum of the person's age and the number of years of participation in the pension scheme must be at least 100 for men and 94 for women, to qualify for state pension. If the lengths of service requirements are not met, the retirement age is 65 for both men and women along with15 years of contributory service.

Retirement is not necessary once the common age has been reached, but many Bulgarians do retire when applicable. Early retirement is possible for those working under hazardous working environments such as teachers, military, and police.

Contributions for Bulgarian Pension Plan

The contribution rate for pension is 17.8% of the gross insurable income. For persons born after 1959, the contribution rate for first pillar is 12.8% and 5% are then transferred to the second pillar. The employer pays 56% of the total contribution and the remaining 44% are on behalf of employee. Contribution rate for military and police officers is 40.8% and paid by the State.

Benefits of Bulgarian Pension

Pensions are indexed in July every year with percentage equal to 50% of the increase in the consumer price index plus 50% of the insurance income growth during the previous year.

The first pillar is administrated by the National Social Security Institute, which is responsible for the payment of pensions and social insurance benefits in the event of one's temporary incapacity to work, maternity and unemployment.

Company Pension Plans in Bulgaria

There are not many companies that offer pension plans in Bulgaria. Most companies abide to the state pension plans. However, this is a more common option among expats.

If you are working for an international company or international government, consult your contract about company plans.

Private Pension Plans in Bulgaria

The private pension plans in Bulgaria are under the category of the 2nd pillar pension plan called mandatory individual accounts. They can be a universal pension fund or a professional pension fund. Individual retirement savings account are managed by a licensed private pension company.

Expat Pension Plans in Bulgaria

A few countries have a bilateral agreement with Bulgaria that allows for years worked in Hungary to count to their state pension of their home country. Be sure to inquire with your state plan about the particulars and if there is a social security agreement with Bulgaria available.

Also, it is possible for your pension to be frozen from your home country. 

Update 6/06/2018


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