You acquire the right to pension for your period of social insurance cover and old age when you reach a given age, which is different for men and women, and attain a given period of social insurance cover.
If you do not have the required period of social insurance cover for a pension, you acquire it when you reach the age of 66 years and a period of social insurance cover of at least 15 years. This age is increased gradually every year. Details are set out in the table here.
If you acquire the right to a pension during the previous year but do not retire, you do not lose your entitlement. You can retire during the following years, whether there are changes in the conditions for retirement or not.
Your entitlement to early retirement depends on the category of the work you perform. Armed forces personnel, certain state employees, investigators, some firefighters and divers retire younger than the standard retirement age. They acquire the right to a pension after accumulating a given period of social insurance cover in these professions. You can find information on each profession here.
You have the right to a social pension for old age at the age of 70 if your family income is below a given minimum amount.
For retirement in 2018, women need to be aged 61 years and 2 months to have a period of social insurance cover of 35 years and 6 months. For men the age is 64 years and 1 month and a period of social insurance cover of 38 years and 6 months. Since 1 January 2018, the required retirement age and periods of insurance has been gradually increasing till reaching 65 years of age for both genders and 40 years periods of insurance for men and 37 for women. The information is set out in detail in a table on the National Social Security Institute website.
If you do not have the required period of social insurance for a pension, you acquire the right when you reach the age of 66 years and have a period of social insurance cover of at least 15 years. This age is increased gradually every year. See the table here.
As of 1 January 2016, people with sufficient length of insurance may acquire the right to a pension one year before they reach retirement age. The pension will be permanently reduced by 0.4% for each month before the person reaches retirement age.
Specific provisions exist for certain professions:
From 1/1/2018 the retirement age is being gradually increased until it reaches 55 (bullets 1, 2 and 4), respectively - 45 years of age (bullets 3 and 5).
Labour categories are set out in a regulation and are connected with labour conditions, e.g. if you worked in mines, as a pilot or in metallurgy. There are two schemes:
Pension from professional pension funds
As of 01 January 2016, people insured in a professional pension fund who have not chosen to be insured solely in the Pension Fund of the State Public Insurance (first pillar), are entitled to a supplementary fixed-term professional pension paid from professional pension funds provided the following conditions are met:
The supplementary fixed-term professional pension shall be paid until the person reaches the standard retirement age.
Pension from Pension fund (first pillar)
As of 01/01/2017 if persons have not acquired the right to a pension paid by professional pension fund or have chosen to be insured solely in the Pension Fund of the State Public Insurance (first pillar), they are entitled to a life-long pension paid by National Social Insurance Institute upon following conditions:
Teachers are entitled to an early pension if it is paid from the Teachers' Pension Fund. Entitlement to this pension is subject to both of the following conditions:
Dancers acquire the right to a pension if they have a period of social insurance of 25 years upon reaching 43 years and 2 months of age. Since 1 January 2018 the retirement age has been gradually increasing by 2 months till reaching 45.
You have the right to a social pension when you reach 70 years of age and if the annual income per member of your family is less than the guaranteed minimum income for the previous 12 months. For 2018, the guaranteed minimum income is BGN 75 per month.. Annual income per family member does not include:
Pensions for old age and period of social insurance cover are calculated on the basis of a formula with the following determining factors: period of social insurance cover and the income for which insurance contributions have been paid over these years.
The amount of the pension = (the income on the basis of which it is calculated) x (period of social insurance cover/100).
In the event of incomplete length of service, the months are divided by 12 and the result obtained is rounded to two decimal places.
You can read more about the calculation of pensions on the National Social Security Institute website which describes in detail how each of the components of the formula is calculated.
The minimum amount of pensions for periods of social insurance and old age is determined every year and is BGN 200 (from 1 July 201– BGN 207.60). For people aged at least 66 years who have retired with a real 15-year period of social insurance cover, the minimum amount of the pension is 85% of the minimum pension amount for period of social insurance and old age, or BGN 170 The minimum pension is identical for men and for women.
Pensions from universal pension funds (additional mandatory pension insurance) are compulsory for everyone born after 31 December 1959. This provides an entitlement to a second additional pension when the person acquires the right to a pension for periods of insurance and old age. In addition, you are entitled to a one-off payment of up to 50% of the amounts accumulated on your individual account in the event that you lose more than 89.99% of your capacity to work. Additional mandatory pension insurance entitles you to a one-off or deferred payment of the amounts to the successors of a deceased person and pensioner.
People who work under difficult labour conditions (category I and II) and in particular professions are entitled to a pension from the National Social Security Institute pension fund or from professional pension fund.
People who have worked in labour category 1 and 2 since the beginning of 2000 must also be insured in professional pension fund managed by a pension insurance company. This insurance provides entitlement to an early pension payable by the company which manages the fund until you reach the required age for a social insurance cover period/old age pension. Contributions to these funds accumulate in an individual account for each insured person. As of 1 January 2015, people can choose to be insured in both Professional Pension Fund and the Pension Fund of the State Public Insurance or solely in the Pension Fund of the State Public Insurance. The conditions are described in detail in the National Social Security Institute table.
Teachers are entitled to early retirement under special conditions. Pensions for early retirement are reduced by 0.1% for each month below the retirement age for social insurance cover period/old age pensions. On reaching the required age, the social insurance cover period/old age pension is paid in full from the general pensions fund.
The social old age pension amounts to BGN 120.98.
The laws and web pages of the institutions which determine your rights can be found by following the links below. These are not European Commission pages and do not represent the opinion of the Commission:
European Commission publications:
National Social Security Institute