Republic of Cyprus
Commissioner to the Presidency

Information for Overseas and Repatriated Cypriots


Social Insurance

Insured Persons under the Social Insurance Scheme

The Cyprus Social Insurance Scheme covers compulsorily every gainfully occupied person working in Cyprus, either as an employed or a self-employed person.

The Scheme is financed by contributions payable by the insured persons, the employers and the State.

Employed Persons

For the employed persons, since 1st January 2014 and until 31st December 2018, the rate of contribution is 20,2%, of which 7,8% is paid by the employee, 7,8% by the employer and 4,6% from the Consolidated Fund of the Republic.

The insurable earnings of an employed person, i.e. the earnings that are taken into consideration for social insurance purposes, include the basic wage or salary, cost of living allowance, overtime, commissions, 13th or 14th salary, 53rd/56th week, the contribution of the employer to the Central Holiday Fund and to the Trade Unions’ holiday funds etc. The only exceptions are exceptional commissions and ex gratia payments.

The maximum amount of insurable earnings for the purpose of payment of contributions is fixed by Regulations. This amount is usually revised every year. In case that the wage or salary is higher than the maximum amount, no contribution is paid on that higher amount.

Employed Persons for whom the employer applies an Occupational Pension Scheme, without contribution from the employee

When an employed person is covered by an occupational pension scheme by his employer without the payment of any contribution on the part of the employee, since 1st January 2014 and until 31st December 2018, the rate of the Social Insurance contribution is 20,2% of which 3,95% is paid by the employee, 11,65% by the employer and 4,6% from the Consolidated Fund of the Republic.

Self-Employed Persons

For the self-employed persons, since 1st January 2014 and until 31st December 2018, the rate of contribution is 19,2% of which 14,6% is paid by the self-employed and 4,6% by the Consolidated Fund of the Republic.

The insurable earnings of self-employed persons are fixed by Regulations according to their specific occupational category. For each category of self-employed persons a compulsory minimum insurable income is prescribed (notional income). If a self-employed person proves to the Director of Social Insurance Services, after submitting a relevant application accompanied with the necessary documents that his actual income is lower than the minimum insurable income of his occupational category, he/she may then be allowed to pay contributions on his/her actual income.

Voluntary Insured Persons

In addition to the compulsory insurance, the legislation provides for voluntary insurance in the case where someone:

(a) has paid basic insurance equal to at least 1 insurance point or,

(b) has his/her permanent residence in Cyprus and works abroad in the service of a Cypriot employer, even if he/she had no previous insurance in Cyprus.


In the case of voluntary insured persons, since 1st January 2014 and until 31st December 2018, the contribution rate for voluntary (home) insured persons is 17,1% of which 13% will be paid by the voluntary insured person and 4,1% by the Consolidated Fund of the Republic.

Persons, who were compulsorily insured after October 1980, are allowed to choose to pay voluntary contributions on higher income up to the amount of wages, salary or income on which they used to pay contributions either as employed or as self-employed persons.

For the calculation of contributions and benefits a maximum amount of earnings/income is taken into consideration. For the calculation of contribution of the voluntary insured persons, this is based either on the insurable earnings of the previous year, or on the average of the insurable earnings of the last three years, or in case the amount is less than the amount of basic insurable earnings, the insured person may choose to pay contributions based on the amount of the basic insurable earnings.

The contribution rate for voluntary insured persons working in third countries in the service of Cypriot employers, since 1st January 2014 and until 31st December 2018, is 20,2% of which 15,6% will be paid by the voluntary insured person and 4,6% from the Consolidated Fund of the Republic.

Social Insurance Benefits

The benefits provided under the Social Insurance Scheme are divided into three basic categories, grants, benefits and pensions:

i. Grants

    • Maternity grant and
    • Funeral grant.

ii. Benefits
    • Maternity allowance.
    • Sickness benefit.
    • Unemployment benefit.
    • Orphan’s benefit and
    • Missing person’s allowance.

iii. Pensions
    • Invalidity pension.
    • Old age pension and
    • Widow’s pension.

(The minimum amount for 2016 is €352,88, without dependents, €470,51 with one dependent, €529,32 with two dependents and €588,13 with three or more dependents, payable 13 times a year).

In addition to the above basic categories, the Social Insurance Scheme provides benefits for industrial accidents and occupational diseases. These benefits are injury benefit, disablement benefit and death benefit.

Employed persons are entitled to all of the above benefits, whereas self-employed persons are not entitled to unemployment benefit and benefits due to industrial accidents and occupational diseases. Voluntary insured persons are entitled to maternity grant, funeral grant, orphan's benefit, as well as old age pension and widow's pension.

For entitlement to a grant, a benefit or a pension, except benefits for industrial accidents and occupational diseases, it is necessary for the insured person to have paid and/or assimilated contributory periods for a minimum time period defined by the legislation for each benefit.

Social Pension

The Social Pension Law which provides for the payment of Social Pension was put in force on 1st May 1995. Social Pension is payable to persons who have their habitual residence in the Republic of Cyprus, have completed the age of 65, are not entitled to a pension or other similar payment from any source the amount of which is equal or higher to the amount of social pension and satisfy the residence conditions specified in the Law.

These conditions are:

(a) legal residence in Cyprus, the EU, the EEA or Switzerland, for a total period of at least 20 years from the date the claimant reaches the age of 40, or

(b) legal residence in Cyprus, the EU, the EEA or Switzerland, for a total period of at least 35 years from the date the claimant reaches the age of 18.

The monthly amount of social pension is equal to 81% of the full basic pension payable under the Social Insurance legislation (the monthly amount for social pension for 2016 is €336,28).

Bilateral Agreements and Regulations of the E.U. ensuring social insurance rights

The social insurance rights of the nationals of every country who emigrate or are employed temporarily abroad can be secured through special provisions of the national legislation, bilateral or multilateral agreements on social security and conventions of international organizations such as the International Labour Organization and the Council of Europe.

Cyprus is a country with a large number of emigrants and a large number of employees who used to work and are working temporarily in foreign countries. Agreements on social security that have been concluded with other countries facilitate the persons concerned to retain or acquire rights for pensions and benefits. Furthermore, Regulations of the European Union protect the social security rights of the workers who exercise the right of freedom of movement within the member states of the European Union, the European Economic Area countries and Switzerland.

Bilateral Agreements on Social Insurance

In order to safeguard the social insurance rights of persons who moved to other countries, Cyprus has concluded bilateral agreements with Austria, Australia, Bulgaria, Canada, Czech Republic, Egypt, Greece, the Netherlands, Quebec, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Switzerland, Syria and the United Kingdom.

The bilateral agreements concluded with the EU member states have been replaced by Regulation 883/2004 for the coordination of social security systems.

Agreement on Social Security between the Republic of Cyprus and Australia

According to the Agreement, persons covered under the legislation of the one country as well as their dependents, have the same obligations and rights on the basis of the legislation of the other country, as long as they stay in it as its nationals.

This Agreement covers persons who used to reside or are now residing in Australia or had returned or will return to Cyprus after residing in Australia and person who are insured or have been insured in the past under the Cyprus Social Insurance legislation.

The benefits covered under the Agreement are the following:

Benefits under the Australia Scheme:
    • Old age pension.
    • Disability support pension.
    • Pensions payable to widows.
    • Widowed Persons Allowance.
    • Carer pension.

Benefits under the Cyprus Scheme:
    • Old age pension.
    • Invalidity pension and disablement pension for occupational injury.
    • Widow's pension.
    • Orphan's benefit.
    • Funeral grant.

Moreover, according to the Agreement, the persons of the two countries can acquire a right to benefits with the aggregation of periods of residence or insurance in both countries, to the extent necessary, for determining eligibility to a benefit. The amount of pension payable to the beneficiary with the aggregation is proportional to the period of his residence or insurance in each country.

Persons living in Australia are allowed to apply for a pension from Cyprus through the local Offices of the Department of Social Security in Australia, and persons living in Cyprus are allowed to apply for pension from Australia through the District Offices of Social Insurance Services in Cyprus.

Agreement on Social Security between the Republic of Cyprus and Canada
According to the Agreement, persons covered under the legislation of the one country as well as their dependents, while in the territory of the other country, have the same obligations and rights according to the legislation of the later country, under the same conditions as its nationals.

The Agreement covers the following benefits:
    • Old-age pension.
    • Invalidity pension.
    • Widow's pension.
    • Orphan's benefit.
    • Funeral grant.

If a person is not entitled to old age pension on the basis of the periods of insurance in Cyprus, his right to a pension will be determined after the aggregation of periods of residence in Canada which are recognized under the Old Age Security Act, as well as the periods of insurance from 1.1.1966 and onwards, according to the Canada Pension Plan.

If for the purpose of determining entitlement to widow's pension, invalidity pension, orphan's benefit or funeral grant from the Cyprus Social Insurance Scheme the relevant contribution conditions are not satisfied taking into account the contributions paid in Cyprus, the periods of insurance after 1.1.1966, recognized by the Canada Pension Plan, will be considered as periods of insurance in the Cyprus Social Insurance Scheme.

When a person is not entitled to old age pension, invalidity pension, widow's pension or orphan's benefit on the basis of contributions paid in Cyprus, but he is entitled to such benefits after the aggregation of the periods of residence or insurance in Canada, as the case may be, the amount of pension from the Cyprus Social Insurance Scheme is determined as a proportion of the period of insurance in Cyprus to the total insurance period completed in the two countries.

Benefits payable under the Canada Schemes, acquired solely either according to the legislation of Canada or according to the Agreement on Social Security between Cyprus and Canada, are payable even if the beneficiary resides in Cyprus. The opposite applies also for benefits payable under the Cyprus Social Insurance Scheme.

Agreement on Social Security between the Republic of Cyprus and the Government of the Arab Republic of Egypt

This Agreement covers old age pension, invalidity pension and survivor's benefits and provides equality of treatment of the insured person who becomes resident in the territory of the other country. Therefore, the insured person is subject to the obligations and enjoys with his dependents the benefits provided under the legislation of the other country, under the same conditions as its nationals.

This Agreement provides also that the national of the one country who has been insured in the other country is allowed to transfer the contributions he paid in the latter country provided that with these contributions he has not acquired any right to old age pension, invalidity pension or survivor's benefit.

As with the other Agreements that are implemented today, with this Agreement the payment of pensions to beneficiaries is provided even if they are in the territory of the other country or in a third country with which both countries have concluded an Agreement on Social Security.

Agreement on Social Security between the Republic of Cyprus and Quebec

Similar provisions to those included in the Agreement between Cyprus and Canada apply also in the Agreement between Cyprus and Quebec, with the exemption of the way of aggregation of the periods of residence or insurance in the two countries. That is, when a person is not entitled to old age pension, invalidity pension, widow's pension or orphan's benefit on the basis of contributions paid in Cyprus, the Cypriot competent authority aggregates, to the extent necessary, for the purpose of determining entitlement to benefit, the periods of insurance or residence in Quebec, provided that they do not coincide with the periods of insurance in Cyprus. The amount of pension payable to the beneficiary with the aggregation is proportional to the period of his insurance or residence in Quebec and the period of insurance in Cyprus.

Agreement on Social Security between the Republic of Cyprus and the Republic of Serbia
According to the Agreement, persons covered under the legislation of the one country as well as their dependents, while in the territory of the other country, have the same obligations and rights according to the legislation of the later country, under the same conditions as its nationals:

The benefits covered under the Agreement are the following:
    • maternity allowance, including maternity grant;
    • sickness benefit;
    • unemployment benefit;
    • benefits for employment injuries and occupational diseases;
    • old-age pension;
    • invalidity pension;
    • widow’s pension;
    • orphan’s benefit;
    • funeral grant.

Moreover, according to the Agreement, the persons of the two countries can acquire a right to benefits with the aggregation of periods of residence or insurance in both countries, to the extent necessary, for determining eligibility to a benefit. The amount of pension payable to the beneficiary with the aggregation is proportional to the period of his residence or insurance in each country.

As with the other Agreements that are implemented today, with this Agreement the payment of pensions to beneficiaries is provided even if they are in the territory of the other country.

Agreement on Social Security between the Republic of Cyprus and the Syrian Arab Republic (signed but not in force)

According to the Agreement, persons covered under the legislation of the one country as well as their dependents, while in the territory of the other country, have the same obligations and rights according to the legislation of the later country, under the same conditions as its nationals.
    • benefits for employment injuries,
    • old-age pension,
    • invalidity pension,
    • widow's pension, and
    • orphan's benefit.

EU Regulation 883/2004 for the coordination of Social Security systems of the EU, EEA member states and Switzerland

As of May 1st 2010, the EU Coordination Regulation applies, which replaced Regulation 1408/71.

The E.U. provisions establish common rules and principles ensuring that, the application of the different national legislations do not adversely affect persons exercising their rights of free movement and stay within the European Union and the European Economic Area.

Regulation 883/04 is based on the following principles:
    • Equal treatment (or non-discrimination): each worker has the same rights and obligations as the nationals of the country where he/she is covered.
    • Applicable legislation: each worker is covered by the legislation of one country at a time so he/she only pays contributions in one country. The decision on which country’s legislation applies to him/her will be made by the social security institutions; he/she cannot choose.
    • Aggregation of insurance periods: when a person claims a benefit, his/her previous periods of insurance, work or residence in other countries are taken into account if necessary.
    • Exportation of benefits: if a person is entitled to a cash benefit from one country, he/she may generally receive it even if he/she is living in a different country.

Where to find us

Ministry of Labour, Welfare and Social Insurance Services
7 Vironos Avenue
1465 Nicosia

Telephone: (00357)22401600
Fax: (00357)22401664
Email Address: recagree@sid.mlsi.gov.cy
Website: www.mlsi.gov.cy/sid

World Conference of Overseas Cypriots