Chapter I: Introduction, organisation and financing
The Slovenian social security system encompasses social insurance, family benefits and the social assistance scheme. Social insurance schemes consist of mandatory pension and invalidity insurance, mandatory health insurance, unemployment insurance and parental protection insurance. These are compulsory for all employed persons and for the selfemployed persons. The system is financed from social security contributions paid by
employees and employers.
Mandatory pension and disability insurance
Mandatory pension and invalidity insurance covers the risks of old age, invalidity,
assistance and attendance allowance, physical impairment and death. It is mandatory for
employed persons, self-employed persons, farmers and certain other categories of persons engaged in specific activities. It is administered by a single agency, the Pension and Invalidity Insurance Institute of Slovenia (Zavod za pokojninsko in invalidsko zavarovanje Slovenije), which operates through a central office in Ljubljana, regional units and local branch offices. Its board of directors includes representatives of the government, trade unions, employers’ associations and pensioners, a representative of those disabled in industrial accidents, and employees of the Institute itself.
Mandatory health insurance
Persons insured under the mandatory health insurance scheme are entitled to medical
benefits in kind (healthcare) and cash benefits, including sickness cash benefit, lump-sum
death grant, (partial) reimbursement of funeral expenses, and reimbursement of costs for
medical treatment outside Slovenia. The system covers employed persons, self-employed
persons, farmers, social security benefits recipients (including pensioners) and other
persons residing in the Republic of Slovenia, as well as their family members. The Health
Insurance Institute of Slovenia (Zavod za zdravstveno zavarovanje Slovenije) is the only
provider of mandatory health insurance. It operates through regional units and local
branch offices. Its board of directors is made up of employers’ and insured persons’
There is a possibility for voluntary supplementary health insurance (insurance for copayments) for medical benefits not fully covered by the mandatory insurance.
The unemployment insurance scheme guarantees the payment of unemployment
benefits. The Employment Service of Slovenia (Zavod Republike Slovenije za zaposlovanje) operates a network of regional units and employment offices. Its board of directors comprises representatives of employers’ organisations and trade unions, of the service’s own employees and of the government.
Unemployment insurance also covers the reimbursement of transportation and relocation
costs, and guarantees entitlement to healthcare and coverage by the pension and
invalidity insurance. The application of these two entitlements is governed by specific
Parental protection insurance
The parental protection insurance covers parental leave (maternity, childcare, paternity
and adoption leave) and parental benefits (maternity, childcare, paternity and adoption
benefits) for employed persons, self-employed persons, farmers and certain other European Commission categories of persons in the Republic of Slovenia. The system operates through 62 regional Centres for Social Work (centri za socialno delo).
Family benefits are cash benefits, i.e. Parental Allowance, Childbirth Grant, Child Benefit,
Large Family Allowance, Special Childcare Allowance and Partial Payment for Loss of
In the Slovenian social security system, along with general social assistance, there are
several categorical social assistance benefits, one of them being the State Pension.
Organisation of social protection The Ministry of Labour, Family and Social Affairs supervises the activities of the Pension and Invalidity Insurance Institute of Slovenia, the Employment Service of Slovenia and the Centres for Social Work.
Family benefits, social assistance and social services are granted by regional Centres for
Social Work. The Ministry of Labour, Family and Social Affairs is responsible for the
Medical benefits for insured persons are set out by the Ministry of Health in cooperation
with the Health Insurance Institute of Slovenia.
Slovenian social insurance schemes are financed by social security contributions from
insured persons and employers. The State is under the constitutional obligation to cover
any possible losses of social insurance schemes. Unemployment insurance and parental
protection insurance are predominately financed from the State budget. Family benefits
and social assistance are financed entirely from the State budget. Your right to social security benefits when moving within Europe Social security systems in European countries are different, which is why EU provisions have been designed to coordinate them. Common rules ensuring access to social benefits are important to avoid European workers and other insured persons being put at a disadvantage when exercising their right of free movement. These rules are based on four principles.
When moving within Europe, you are always insured under the legislation of one single
Member State: generally, if you are active, it will be the country where you work; if you
are inactive, the country where you reside.
The principle of equal treatment ensures that you have the same rights and obligations
as nationals of the country where you are insured.
When necessary, periods of insurance acquired in other EU countries can be taken into
account towards the award of a benefit.
Cash benefits can be “exported” if you live in a country other than the one where you
You can rely on the EU provisions on social security coordination in the 27 EU Member
States, Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein (EEA) and Switzerland (31 countries altogether).
Some general information on the EU provisions is provided at the end of each chapter.
Further information about the coordination of social security rights when moving or
travelling in the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland can be found at: