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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 subsidised state health and dental care.
Social insurance payments are made to the District Offices of the Department of Social Insurance.
Social insurance payments can also be made via the internet. To register for online payments, complete and return the application form payment of contributions over the internet (PDF in Greek).
Once registered, a code will be issued so that payments can be made via the online Social Insurance contribution payment system.
Social Insurance contributions payable depends on earnings and whether a person is an employee or self-employed. 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.
Once in employment, the employer must provide an employee certificate. The employer is required by law to submit the completed and signed certificate to the Social Insurance Services (SIS). The certificate contains personal details as well as the date employee commenced work. The employee should be issued with a copy.
Contributions are 20.2 percent of gross earnings; employees and employers both pay 7.8 percent, while the Republic pays the remaining 4.6 percent. Social insurance contributions are restricted to a maximum amount that is usually increased annually. The maximum monthly amount applicable in 2013 was €4.533.
Self employed persons are responsible for registering with the SIS and pay their contributions every three months.
Contributions are 19.2 percent of gross earnings; the self-employed contribute 14.6 percent of income, while the government contributes 4.6 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.
A self-employed person can choose to prove their income is lower than the minimum insurable income of his occupational category by completing the relevant application form and submitting the necessary documents to the Director of the Social Insurance Services. Those earning less than the minimum prescribed income, may opt to pay the 14.6 percent on the lesser salary. Voluntary contributors contribute 13 percent on fixed earnings. The government contributes 4.1 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.