Self-insured persons within the meaning of the bulgarian Social Security Code (SSC) are:
- persons registered as freelancers and/or craftsmen,
- persons exercising business activity,
- sole traders, owners or partners in companies, and
- individuals - members of unincorporated associations; and duly registered farmers and tobacco growers (Art. 4 (3), item 1, item 2, item 4 SSC).
The social security obligation of self-insured persons in Bulgaria arises from the day of commencement or resumption of their activity and continues until its cessation or termination (Art. 1 (1) of the Regulation on Social Security for Self-Insured Persons, Bulgarian Citizens Working Abroad and Seafarers - the Regulation).
The self-insured persons in Bulgaria must register the start date of their activity through submitting a declaration in standard form to the competent territorial directorate (TD) of the National Revenue Agency (NRA), where the person has their permanent address registration within seven days of its start. The interruption, suspension or resumption of activity must also be established with a declaration to be filed within seven days of the occurrence of the respective circumstances (Art. 1 (2) of the Regulation).
Self-insured persons in Bulgaria are insured for disability due to general sickness, old age and death (Pension fund). At their discretion, they might additionally insure themselves for general disease and maternity (Art. 4 (3) and (4) of the SSC). The type of social security is declared by the self-insured person themselves by submitting a declaration in standard form to the competent TD of the NRA within 7 days of the commencement or resumption of work. If this declaration is not submitted within 7 days, the self-insured person will be insured only for disability due to general disease, old age and death (Art. 1 (3) of the Regulation).
By the end of January each year, self-insured persons may change the type of their social security for the respective calendar year. The type of social security cannot be changed during the year, even in cases where the self-insured persons interrupt and resume their activities or start performing new activities as self-insured persons (Art. 1 (3) and (4) of the Regulation) .
Self-insured persons who have been granted pensions insure themselves only voluntarily (Art. 1 (6) of the Regulation). The law does not define the exact type of pension one must receive to be exempt from paying the social security contributions. Therefore, all persons receiving pensions in Bulgaria - personal, survivors, disability and others - can insure themselves only voluntarily when they exercise their activities as self-insured persons.
Self-insured persons must submit monthly Declaration № 1 "Details of the insured person" and must pay their advance social security contributions until the 25th day of the month following the month to which they relate.
The monthly installments can be paid on selected income, whose amount should not be less than the minimum and not more than the maximum monthly insurable earnings. The amounts of these earnings are determined annually by the State Social Security Budget Act (SSSBA) - Art. 6 (2) of the SSC.
From 1st of January 2018 the minimum work salary has increased from BGN 460 to BGN 510 and along with this the minimum insurance income for self-insuring people and for partners in trade companies has increased as well.
The differentiated minimum monthly amount of insurable income for self-employed persons according to their taxable income during the previous year is no longer valid. A fixed minimum social security income of BGN 510 has been introduced.
Self-insured persons performing activities on various grounds, make advance payments on one of those grounds, at the person’s discretion (Art. 2 (3) of the Regulation).
When self-insured persons perform employment activities on different grounds and are remunerated accordingly, the social security contributions for these employment activities are due on the sum of the income received. The monthly insurable earnings on which the social security contributions are paid in such cases must not exceed the statutory maximum monthly insurable earnings, determined for the respective year under the SSSBA.
The minimum insurable earnings for self-insured farmers and tobacco growers in Bulgaria who carry out farming activities in 2018 are BGN 350.
If the self-insured persons also work under employment contracts, their social security contributions are due on the sum of their income in the following order:
- Income under the employment contract;
- Selected income as a self-insured person. In this case the monthly insurable earnings should not exceed the statutory maximum monthly insurable earnings of BGN 2,600 (Art. 4 (2) of the Regulation).
When remunerating self-insured person for work performed outside an employment relationship, the employers do not pay social security contributions and do not withhold them from the remuneration of the self-insured person. These earnings are included in the final amount of the insurance income, regardless of the activity for which the self-insured person is registered. The sum of income on which the social security contrbutions are due may not be less than the minimum monthly insurable earnings as defined under Art. 6 (2), item 2 of the SSC (Art. 11 (1) and (2) of the Regulation).
Social security contributions are not due by self-insured persons who are insured for general sickness and maternity for the period during which they receive cash benefits for temporary disability, pregnancy/childbirth/raising a child/adoption of a 2- to 5-year-old child as well as for periods of temporary disability, pregnancy/childbirth/raising a child/adoption of a 2- to 5-year-old child (Art. 3 (3) of the Regulation).
Persons only insured for disability due to general disease, old age and death owe social security contributions for the periods of temporary disability, pregnancy/childbirth/raising a child/adoption of a 2- to 5-year-old child.
Once a year, the self-insured person must submit Declaration № 6 "Data related to the outstanding social security contributions" by 30 April of the calendar year following the year to which the contributions relate. The final amount of the monthly insurable earnings is determined for the period of employment in the preceding year based on the data declared in the statement enclosed to the annual tax return under the Personal Income Tax Act (PITA) and it may not be less than the minimum monthly income determined by SSSBA for the year and higher than the maximum monthly insurable earnings. The amount of insurable earnings on which contributions are paid additionally is calculated as the difference between the amounts on which contributions are due and those which have already been paid. (Art. 6 (80 of the SSC; Art. 2 (4) of the Regulation).
The final amount of insurable earnings for 2018 is established on the basis of the data, declared until 30th of April 2019 with the submission of the statement enclosed to the annual tax return under Art. 50 Personal Income Tax Act (PITA) for 2018. If the declared insurable earnings are higher than the advance contributions, the person should make additional payments in instalments of the difference between the amount due to the Pension fund and additional pension insurance amounts, and the additional mandatory contributions due to the general disease and maternity fund for self-insured persons who have chosen this type of insurance within the deadline of submission of their tax returns (the change in Art. 6 (8) of the SSC, in force since 1 January 2016).
From 1st of January 2018 the insurance for the State Social Security has increased with 1 % for the Pension Fund.
The social security contributions of self-insured persons born after 1959 are as follows:
- State Social Security Funds-14.80 % and if the insured person has chosen to provide for all contingencies including the General sickness and maternity fund, which includes insurance for temporary disability, temporarily reduced capacity and maternity, the amount of insurance for the SSS funds is 18.30 %.
- Additional mandatory pension insurance fund within the Universal Pension Fund - 5.00%
- Health insurance fund - 8.00%