Social insurance and EU regulations
A person living and working outside the Czech Republic for an extended period stops being a part of the Czech social security system. The laws of the country in which the person lives or works are applied.
Social security contributions are paid in that country. One is eligible to claim social security benefits in the new country under the same conditions as nationals of that country if benefits are coordinated within the EU, the European Economic Area (Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein) and Switzerland.
After return to the Czech Republic participation in the insurance schemes abroad is taken into account.
This also applies to other countries with which the Czech Republic has concluded social security agreements.
The guiding principle in such practice is the aggregation of insurance periods. The duration of coverage plays a major role in the case of sickness and pension insurance and unemployment insurance. The periods in which contributions were made abroad are taken into account if the insurance period received only in the Czech Republic is insufficient to ensure eligibility for benefits.
What benefits are involved?
Deductions paid abroad primarily involve pension insurance, sickness insurance and unemployment insurance. Specific obligations also relate to health insurance when residing abroad.
Registering for the health insurance system in the country where a Czech national has begun working or moved is compulsory in the case of long-term residency abroad. Persons moving between the EU, EEA and Switzerland must always maintain health insurance in one of the Member States. Such persons must unsubscribe (odhlásit) from insurance in the Czech Republic before departing. The person's term of residence in another Member State may be considered as owed insurance contributions if such person does not unsubscribe from insurance in the Czech Republic.
Sickness and pension insurance
Proof of participation abroad is particularly important for benefits from this insurance. The number of years paid and the amount of paid contributions are also a factor. They factor into the minimum required duration of insurance and the calculation of benefits based on actual contributions.
Proof of insured periods abroad is always needed in cases where periods obtained in the Czech Republic are insufficient to ensure eligibility.
The insured period abroad may have an impact on:
- old-age pension ;
- invalidity pension;
- widow's, widower's and orphan’s pension;
- maternity benefit;
- unemployment benefit.
Unemployment benefit can be claimed after returning from abroad. Generally, however, unemployment benefits are provided by the country in which the person worked most recently.
If a person applies for unemployment benefits abroad, the benefit can be exported to the Czech Republic if they want to find a new job in the Czech Republic. Unemployment benefit is only paid for three to six months across borders. A person can apply for a benefit export after one month of receiving the benefit abroad if she/he is registered at the Czech Labour Office (Úřad práce) and meets the conditions set by the country granting the benefit at the time of the application.
This does not apply to those living in the Czech Republic, but working abroad, (so-called cross-border workers). They must apply for unemployment benefit in the Czech Republic after they have lost their job abroad. Cross-border workers are eligible for unemployment benefit if the Labour Office decides they have maintained residence in the Czech Republic during such gainful activity. Periods of unemployment insurance from the country in which such person was last employed are considered.
What do I need to do?
Upon returning to the Czech Republic you must contact a health insurance company (zdravotní pojišťovna) and re-subscribe for coverage. The insured person must provide proof of insurance abroad. It is recommended requesting that the foreign insurance company issues an E104 or SED S041 form or other type of confirmation providing proof of participation in the local system before returning.
Labour Office contact points may contact persons who want to find work using its resources.
The Czech Social Security Administration (Česká správa sociálního zabezpečení) does not need to be contacted immediately upon returning to the Czech Republic. The relevant authorities exchange insurance records between one another after an application for benefits is submitted. It is necessary to state the country and periods in which such person worked. Proof of insurance abroad should be kept for future use.
Forms you may need
- Formuláře pro migraci v rámci Evropské unie - Forms for migration within the European Union, in Czech
Know your rights
These links do not lead to European Commission websites and do not represent the views of the European Commission:
- Guide for migrating persons (Příručka pro migrující osoby), in Czech;
- Overview of documents for migration in the European Union (Přehled dokumentů pro migraci v rámci Evropské unie), in Czech;
European Commission publications and websites:
Czech Social Security Administration (Česká správa sociálního zabezpečení)
225 08 Prague 5
Call centre: +420 257066077
Czech Social Security Administration electronic registrar (in Czech)
List of the Labour Office's regional offices and contact points (in Czech): http://portal.mpsv.cz/soc/ssp/local
SOLVIT centre for the Czech Republic (resolves problems concerning the incorrect application of European law)
Ministry of Industry and Trade (Ministerstvo průmyslu a obchodu)
Na Františku 32
110 15 Prague 1
Tel. +420 224221701