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Bulgaria/ 5.1 General legislation  

5.1.4 Social security frameworks

Social security for artists is regulated by the Labour Code and the Ordinance on Social Security of Persons who Practice a Liberal Profession and of the Bulgarian Citizens Working Abroad (2000). Under these laws, artists practising a liberal profession are treated equally with those who have registered companies as sole traders or partners in commercial corporations under the Commercial Code. In all three cases, artists have two options to pay:

  • compulsory social security contributions for all types of retirement insurance including old-age pension, disability, survivor's pension, etc., at the rate of 22% of an income of their choice, which may not be less than two or more than eight national minimum wages; and
  • voluntary contributions at the rate of 32% for all types of social insurance, such as: pension, sickness benefits, monthly child benefits, etc.

Artists (just like all other employees) who have signed a contract of employment (e.g. an artist employed by an advertising agency) are subject to compulsory social security contributions at the rate of 37% of their gross income to be paid by the employer (2% to be paid by the employee). Another contribution is made to the Occupational Training and Unemployment Fund. The rate is 4% (3% to be paid by the employer and 1% to be paid by the employee).

Taking into consideration the unique nature of the work performed by artists, an amendment was made to the Transitional and Final Provisions of the Protection and Development of Culture Act which now entitles artists who have worked for at least 4 of the past 12 months (without entering into an employment relationship in artistic associations) to obtain unemployment benefits.

See also comparative information provided in the Compendium "Themes!" section under "Status of Artists". 

Chapter published: 07-11-2012

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