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If you use all modes of insurance offered by the Bulgaria pension system, you can ensure a good income level for the years after retirement. Depending on your age, the law gives you various opportunities.
For those born after 31.12.1959
In case you were born after 31.12.1959, according to the now existing pension system your pension is formed by income from The State Social Security pension Fund (1st pillar of the pension system) and the amounts from the Supplementary Mandatory pension insurance, the so-called “second pension” (2nd pillar of the pension system). If you are at the beginning of your working career, by the end of the third month after you start working, you have to choose a Universal pension fund with which to insure. Since the funds for a second pension are managed by the insurance company you choose in advance, and increase of your funds depends on their professional management, your choice is of great importance.
As of the second half of 2015 a possibility to opt out the second pillar was given to people born after 1959 who were previously mandatory participants in the second pillar. They can transfer their individual savings managed by private pension funds to the State Pension Fund (first pillar) and to continue their pension insurance in first pillar only.
Persons born after December 31, 1959 can decide to either continue to insure with a universal pension fund, managed by a company for supplementary pension insurance, or choose to transfer their whole pension contribution to be deposited to the Fund “Pensions” (respectively Fund “Pensions for persons according to article 69 of the Social Security Code*) of State Social Security.
The change from insurance in universal pension fund into the "Pensions" Fund, respectively the "Pension of the persons under Art. 69" Fund of SIC*, and vice versa may be repeated but after at least 1 year after the last change of the insurance. The final choice must be made no later than 5 years before the retirement age is reached by the respective person under Art. 68, Para. 1 of SIC and if a pension for pensionable service and age is not granted.
If you want to learn more, look at the text on Switch from a Universal pension fund to Fund “Pensions” and back in Supplementary mandatory pension insurance.
For persons born after 31.12.1959 it is also possible to insure with a Voluntary pension fund/s, which gives them a chance to receive a third pension.
For persons born before 01.01.1960
Since persons born before 01.01.1960 do not have the opportunity to accumulate funds in a universal pension fund, their participation in a voluntary pension fund is their only chance to participate in a full funded pension scheme. Insurance in the 3rd pillar of the pension system is voluntary but it plays an important additional role in achieving a good level of income after retirement. It is voluntary because the participation and the amount and periodicity of installments entirely depend on the person’s free will. Unlike participation in a universal pension fund, you have the freedom to choose more than one voluntary pension fund with which to insure.
* For members of the armed forces according to the Republic of Bulgaria Defence and Armed Forces Act and for state officers according to Ministry of the Internal Affairs Act and the Implementation of Penal Sanctions Act and Law for Arrest and investigation.