False Claim: Slovenian Government Did Not Increase Social Security Contributions for the Self-Employed

Mikhail Nilov/pexels.com

Original article (in Slovenian) was published on 27/3/2024; Author: Tina Geč

In Slovenia, contributions paid by the self-employed rose by €45.17 in February compared to January, following the release of data by the Statistics Office that showed an increase in the average monthly salary in 2023 over 2022, subsequently affecting the contribution base.

Patricija Gorenc, a Democratic Party (SDS) candidate in the last general election, claimed on X on 9 March that the government was “quietly and slowly destroying self-employed entrepreneurs” because it has increased contributions by €80.17 compared to the previous month.

By 15 March, 31,000 X users had viewed the post and more than 200 had shared it. Gorenc posted the same claim on her Facebook page.

The Act on Pension and Disability Insurance, passed by the National Assembly in 2012, provides for a gradual increase in the minimum base for social security contributions for the self-employed. As of 2018, the contributions base amounts to 60% of the last published average gross annual salary of employees, calculated on a monthly basis.

Since Gorenc did not specify which months she was referring to in her post, we compared the latest available contribution figures published by the Financial Administration for January and February this year.

Social security contributions paid by the self-employed with the lowest contribution base amounted to €498.87 in January, compared to €544.04 in February. The increase is due to the Statistics Office’s release on 15 February of the average monthly salary, which rose from €2,023.92 in 2022 to €2,220.95 last year. As a result, the contribution base has risen.

The €80.17 increase in contributions for February which Gorenc wrote about is relative to the €463.87 in December last year. In addition to the increase in the contribution base, a part of the increase in this period is attributed to the compulsory health contribution, which was formerly a separate levy but is attached to regular health insurance contributions since 1 January in the fixed amount of €35 per month.

The law also sets a cap on the base for social security contribution for the self-employed, which is 3.5 times the average monthly salary of employees in the previous year since 2014. The contributions of these self-employed workers rose from €2,740.97 in January to €3,004.40 in February this year.

Assistant professor Blaž Zupan from the Department of Entrepreneurship at the Ljubljana School of Economics and Business explained to Razkrinkavanje.si that the outlays have increased especially for those self-employed who did not have supplementary health insurance before the introduction of the compulsory health contribution. He pointed out that the government has indeed introduced the compulsory health contribution, but that it has no direct impact on salary levels.

Gorenc has been informed of the findings. We will publish her response upon receipt.

The claim that the government has increased the social security contribution paid by the self employed by €80.17 compared to last month is inaccurate.

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