In 2011 there were over 402,000 recipients of social assistance in Croatia, including about 83,000 children. Croatia has 52 children's homes, 196 retirement homes and 49 special reception centres for people with disabilities.

Society and way of life

Social security

Social security in the Republic of Croatia refers to organised protection for vulnerable groups within the population, such as the sick, elderly, those unfit for work, the unemployed, the socially endangered, and families with children, and it is implemented by the state through contributions made on the principle of solidarity.

Social security includes health and pension insurance, unemployment insurance and family benefits, social benefits and child benefits.

Compulsory primary health insurance is administered by the Croatian Institute for Health Insurance (HZZO) and covers the costs of health services prescribed by law. These include services in the case of workplace injury and profession-related illness, and compensation for loss of pay during sick leave, maternity or paternity leave, and transport costs linked to the use of health services. Services which are not covered by basic health insurance are borne by the individual, or are covered by additional health insurance.

Pension reform was initiated in 1998, and in 2002, the system of three pension pillars was created: the first pillar is the generational solidarity system, the second pillar is compulsory individual pension insurance, and the third pillar is voluntary pension insurance. The last two pillars represent individual capitalised savings by the insured person.

The institution charged with the organisation and implementation of the pension insurance system is the Croatian Institute for Pension Insurance (HZMO) and is a public institution. All those in employment must contribute to the first two pillars of pension insurance, at the rate of 15% and 5% of gross pay.