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Social security

​Social security in Malta also called the National Insurance system in Malta forms the main backbone of the social security system. It is based on regular payments and a redistribution system that covers residents for certain benefits in sickness and maternity, retirement, invalidity and widows, injury and occupational diseases, unemployment and family benefits.
The Social Security Act (Cap. 318 of the Laws of Malta) regulates the social security system in Malta and provides for two basic schemes, namely the Contributory Scheme and the Non-Contributory Scheme.
Depending on the residence permit in possession by the Third Country National, they are covered under the Contributory Scheme and/or the Non-Contributory of the Social Security Act, and are entitled to different benefits.
Specific contribution conditions must be met in order to be entitled to the Contributory Scheme. Persons employed, self-employed or not in receipt of a salary (whose income does not come from economic activity but from other sources) pay contributions on a weekly basis in accordance to provisions of the Social Security Act. Any person between the age of 16 and retirement age is required to pay contributions. All cash benefits are administered by the Department of Social Security.
In the Non-Contributory Scheme, the basic requirement is that the conditions of the
means-test are met.
Who is exempt from paying contributions?
The following are exempt from paying contributions:
  • Persons in full-time education or training;
  • Married persons who are not gainfully employed;
  • Persons receiving a pension in respect of widowhood, invalidity or retirement, or
  • Persons in receipt of a Parent’s Pension;
  • Persons receiving non-contributory social assistance benefits or a non-contributory pension.

Furthermore persons not in gainful employment, both employed and self-employed whose total annual income does not exceed the income stipulated by the IRD are also exempt from paying contributions and may apply for a certificate of exemption.

Third Country Nationals that present a certificate which shows that they are still insured under the legislation of their home country may be eligible to be exempt from paying social security contributions in Malta.  Such request for exemption must be renewed annually and is subject to certain conditions.

Exportability of Pensions

Contributory Pensions i.e. Retirement, Invalidity and Widows are all exportable to all parts of the world as long as the applicant qualifies and meets the contribution requirements.  The applicant must satisfy the contribution test or other requirements as stipulated by the Social Security Act of Malta.
Two methods of payment are available to Third Country Nationals: in SEPA countries payments are made directly by the Department of Social Security to the beneficiary every 4 weeks. With respect to the other countries the payments are made through a bank transfer approximately twice a year which covers a back payment of 6 months.  Pensioners who do not live in a SEPA country are encouraged to open a bank account in Malta or in another SEPA country in order to receive their pension regularly every 4 weeks. Pensioners with bank account in Australia, Canada and New Zealand also receive their pension every 4 weeks.

Last updated in June 2014.​
Social Security Rates
Contributory Social Benefits for TCNs
Non-Contributory Social Benefits for TCNs
Registering with National Insurance
Reciprocal Agreements​
 Contact Name
Department of Social Security
38 Ordnance Street,
Valletta VLT 2000

+356 2590 3000