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The Social Insurance Scheme under the Ministry of Labour and Social Insurance (MLSI) provides monetary benefits for retirement, illness, disability, old age, marriage, maternity, orphanhood, unemployment, widowhood, death and employment injury.
Cyprus citizens and anyone legally employed in Cyprus are eligible for social insurance. EU citizens who are pensioners/retirees are also eligible. Those who want to continue coverage after a period of mandatory contributions (Voluntary Contributors) may opt to do so; all others must obtain private pensions and insurance.
The Cypriot social security system provides benefits and pensions. It is financed by employee, employer and state contributions. Under the social security system, recipients are entitled to free or subsidised health and dental care.
Social insurance payments are made to the District Offices of the Department of Social Insurance.
To register for inclusion in the Social Insurance Scheme, all applicants should apply at their district office of the Ministry of Labour and Social Insurance.
Note: application forms may only be available in the Greek language.
Contributions are 16.6 percent of gross earnings; employees and employers both pay 6.3 percent, while the Republic pays the remaining 4 percent. Contributions are calculated up to a certain maximum on earnings; no contributions are calculated on any earnings over a fixed amount. (January 2008: €3,671.78)
The self-employed contribute 11.6 percent of income, while the government contributes 4 percent. The self-employed are organised by occupational category and each category has a different required minimum income prescribed, with insurance contributions based on this figure. Those earning less than the minimum prescribed income, may opt to pay the 11.6 percent on the lesser salary.
Voluntary contributors contribute 10 percent on fixed earnings. The government contributes 3.5 percent.
Anyone working as an employed person and as a self-employed person in the same contribution week must pay contributions for both employments. At the end of the contribution year, money is refunded to the insured person for payments in excess of the ceiling of insurable earnings.
Anyone working as a voluntary contributor and a required contributor (for instance, a person who is self-employed and also works for a Cypriot employer overseas) may pay contributions voluntarily, if earnings are below the level on which they have chosen to pay contributions on voluntarily.
Those over the age of 65 are no longer required to make contributions to the social insurance system, unless they have not fulfilled the requirements for an old-age pension. In this case, the person must continue to make contributions until the requirements are met or the person turns 68 years old.