The retirement pension scheme in Cyprus is based on two pillars:
- the first compulsory pillar is the state (public) retirement pension which is run by the Social Security Fund (SSF) under the General Social Insurance Scheme (GSIS) and covers employees from the public and private sectors, self-employed and voluntary contributors;
- the second pillar refers to the supplementary pension provisions and includes several voluntary provident funds accumulated through employment collective agreements, private pensions as well as the occupational pensions for central government employees.
The first pillar represents the primary source of retirement income in Cyprus. The public retirement pension scheme is a completely „pay-as-you-go‟ scheme based on contributions and government tax revenues. The GSIS includes the following type of retirement pensions:
- Old Age Retirement Pension
- Lump-Sum Payment for Persons Over 68 Years Old
- Early Retirement
- Social Pension
- Disability Pension
There are also other benefits for elders such as free medical treatment and long-term care.
The supplementary (second pillar) pension provision in Cyprus includes:
- the Government Employees Pension Scheme;
- other Public Sector Employees Pension Schemes;
- the Banking Sector Defined Benefit and Defined Contributions Schemes;
- the Doctors' Pension Fund;
- the Lawyers' Pension Fund; and
- Industry-wide and Single-Employer Financed Defined Contribution.
The Government Employees Pension Scheme (GEPS) is run by the Ministry of Finance and provides occupational pension in addition to the general social insurance scheme for central government employees. This category of people includes civil servants, members of the education system, the police and the armed forces. People working for public enterprises, local authorities and other public entities are covered by distinct public schemes which are similar to those of GEPS.
The EU Pensioners Rights
EU citizens who have paid state or supplementary pension contributions in one or more EU countries have the right to receive their retirement pension proportionally from each country. To determine if an applicant fulfils the qualifying conditions, each European member state is obliged to consider all the periods worked or contributed in the other member states, but the payment is done according to the period covered in that specific country. The pension must be claimed through the last EU country where the contributions were paid. The applicant should mention all the other countries where she / he used to work. Retirement pension can be transferred to any EU country where the person wishes to retire.
EU citizens who face problems getting their full retirement pension should contact the European Assistance Services here.