Pensions According to EU Regulations and International Social Security AgreementsThe Republic of Croatia, as a member state of the European Union, applies EU regulations on the coordination of social securty systems with the countries of the European Union, the European Economic Area (Island, Liechtenstein and Norway) and the Swiss Confederation.
The Republic of Croatia also applies international social security agreements with Australia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Canada, the Canadian province of Quebec , North Macedonia, Serbia (i.e. FR of Yugoslavia – the agreement applies up to the date of conclusion of the new social security agreement with Serbia), Turkey and Korea.
The EU regulations on the coordination of the social security systems and international social security agreements protect the rights of the Croatian citizens employed or residing abroad as well as their family members. Accordingly, they acquire the rights deriving from their work or their insurance abroad as well as the appropriate forms of social security.
The rights and entitlements to the benefits from the Croatian pension insurance are subject to the regulations on the pension insurance in force in the Republic of Croatia.
An insured person with insurance periods completed in the Republic of Croatia and in a country with which the Republic of Croatia concluded an international social security agreement, provided such person is eligible to pension rights based on the insurance periods completed only in Croatia, will be entitled to and receive the benefit from the Croatian insurance only, based on the Croatian periods of insurance (the so-called 'independent pension').
If the insured person does not fulfil the entitlement criteria based on the insurance periods completed in the Republic of Croatia, the Croatian institutions competent for insurance will take into account the insurance periods completed abroad, namely, in one of the countries with which the Republic of Croatia applies an international social security agreement. However, the benefit from the Croatian insurance will be determined in proportion to the insurance periods completed in the Republic of Croatia (“pro rata pension”).
An insured person with insurance periods completed in the Republic of Croatia and in a Member State of the European Union, the European Economic Area (Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway) or in the Swiss Confederation, provided such person completed the prescribed qualifying period under the Croatian insurance, will be entitled both to an ‘independent pension’ and ‘pro-rata pension’ and will receive the more favourable of the two.
Entitlement to Old age / Early Age Pension According to EU Regulations and/or International Social Security Agreements
If you have been insured in one or more countries with which Croatia applies the EU regulations on the coordination of social security systems, you should file your pension claim to the competent pension institution in the country of your residence. If you have never been insured in the country of your residence, your pension application will be forwarded to the country of your last insurance.
The pension application filed in one state is considered as if filed in all states where you have completed your insurance periods.
You may exercise your right to a pension in all countries where you have been insured, based on the EU regulations on the coordination of social security systems and/or international social security agreements, if you meet the eligibility conditions under the national legislation of those countries.
The old age pension will be paid regardless of the Contracting State in which you reside.
Entitlement to Disability Pension
By the EU Regulations on the Coordination of Social Security
According to the EU regulations, the legislation of the Member States in terms of disability benefits can be divided into two types:
- Countries with ‘type A’ legislation - according to this legislation, the amount of disability pension is independent of the duration of the periods of insurance or residence; the entitlement to disability pension requires that the person was insured in that country at the time the invalidity occurred
- Countries with ‘type B’ legislation - according to this legislation, the amount of disability pension depends on the length of insurance, i.e. the duration of residence and it is calculated according to the same rules as the old age pension.
By the International Social Security Agreements
If you were insured in one or more countries with which Croatia applies bilateral social security agreements, the application for disability pension is filed to the competent pension insurance institution in the state of your last insurance, or in the state of your residence. The application for disability pension filed in one country will be considered as if filed in all countries where you have completed insurance periods.
When applying for a disability pension, the pension insurance competent institution of one country will take into account periods of insurance or residence completed in another country if this is necessary for the entitlement to a disability pension. According to the EU regulations, such periods will be obligatory taken into account if completed in one of the EU Member States, the EEA or the Swiss Confederation.
Each state applies its national regulations in determining the degree of disability. Medical assessment for persons residing abroad is initiated based on medical documentation submitted by a foreign pension and disability insurance institution. Based on the complete and quality medical assessment by a foreign expert, trust in his/her work and submitted medical documentation, the medical expert of the Institute for Medical Assessment, Professional Rehabilitation and Employment of Persons with Disabilities in the Republic of Croatia issues a finding and opinion for the Croatian pension insurance without a direct examination of the applicant.
In the disability pension procedure by application of EU regulations and international social security agreements, the finding and opinion of a foreign medical expert does not bind the competent pension institution in another state when deciding about a person's disability. The medical experts from each pension insurance institution make an independent disability assessment of the insured person and apply the legal and medical definition of disability according to their own legislation.
A disability pension will be paid regardless of the Member State in which you reside.
Entitlement to Survivor's Pension by Application of EU Regulations and/or International Social Security Agreements
The survivor's pension procedure starts by application to the competent pension insurance institution in the country of your residence.
An application filed in one state is considered as if filed in all states where the deceased insured person completed his/her insurance periods.
The survivor's pension will be paid regardless of the Contracting State in which the surviving family member resides.