Malta Social Insurance System – Requirements and Range of Benefits
Malta’s social security system is administered by the Department of Social Security, which is part of the Ministry for the Family and Social Solidarity.
Anyone who is employed in Malta is required to contribute to the social security system, to be eligible to receive security benefit. Exceptions, are made under the Social Security Act, Chapter 318 of the Laws of Malta, with respect to the following:
- Employment of a casual nature otherwise than for the purposes of the employer’s trade or business;
- Employment of a person who is not ordinarily resident in Malta if the employer of that person is a person not resident in Malta and has no place of business here;
- Employment by any one employer for less than eight (8) hours in a calendar week;
- Employment as secretary or clerk of a society, club, philantropic institution, school or similar body or institution, where personal service is ordinarily requried only occasionally and outside the ordinary hours of work, and which do not exceed eight (8) hours a week;
- Employment of a perons who is not ordinarily resident in Malta;
- Employment of a person who is not ordinarily resident in Malta if the employer of that person is paying contributionss in respect of that person under a scheme of soical insurance in another country;
- Employment of any of the directors in any partnership, for the purposes ot that partnership, where in such partnership has been entered into between or among persons that are related to one another, up to and including cousins of the first degree and/or their spouses, provided any such directors are themselves such partners or the spouses of such partners;
- Employment of any majority shareholder in any partnership, for the purposes of that partnership, and for this purpose any shareholder shall still be deemed to be a majority shareholder if, notwithstanding the fact that the number of his shares do not constitute a majority, the value of powers attached to his holding exceed the aggregate total value or powers attached to his holding of the other shareholders in that partnership;
- As of 6th January 1992, employment entered into prior to the 5th January 2008 of a person who has reached pensionable age prior to 5th January 2008, or employment of a widow under pensionable age, if she so elects, who is in receipt of a pension in respect of widowhood under this Act;
- Employment outside Malta as master or member of the crew of any ship or vessel registered in Malta;
- Employment on board any aircraft, other than a pilot, commander, navigator or a member of the crew.
The system funds a wide range of benefits including maternity, unemployment and disability benefits, as well as sick pay and pensions. The insured must have at least 156 weeks of paid contributions, including an annual average of at least 50 weeks of paid or credit contributions, to benefit from the aforesaid.
The pensionable age for persons born before December 31, 1951, is age 61 for men and 60 with an option to retire at 61 for women, age 62 (men and women) if born from 1952 to 1955, age 63 (both men and women) if born from 1956 to 1958; age 64 (men and women) if born from 1959 to 1961; age 65 (men and women) if born on or after January 1, 1962.
An early pension option is permissible if the insured, born on or after 1 January 1962 has accumulated 2,080 contributions, equivalent to forty (40) years contributions since attaining age 18; if the insured was born between 1952 and 1961, the minimum number of credited contributions since attaining age 18, must be of 1,820, equivalent to a minimum of thirty-five (35) years.
Contributions are deducted from salaries along with income tax and employers are required to match the payments of their employees with a similar level of contribution. Payments are on graduated scale, up to a maximum of 10% of income.
Self-employed people are also required to contribute to the system, although self-employed EU Nationals may be exempt from payments for up to twelve (12) months, if they continue to make contributions in their own countries and hold the exemption certificate E101.