Since declaring independence, Montenegro continues to apply international treaties and agreements that had previously been concluded and acceded to by the State Union of Serbia and Montenegro. Currently, Montenegro has concluded bilateral social security agreements with 25 countries, 17 of which are EU member states.
Bilateral international agreements on social insurance allow for the harmonized application of national laws of the contracting states in the field of social security, and guarantee the equal treatment of citizens in each of the contracting states.
Such agreements identify the applicable legislation, ensure the preservation of acquired rights and guarantee the payments or transfer of benefits in case of change of residence from one to another contracting state.
The bilateral social security agreements regulate the rights to pension and disability and health insurance, health care and maternity, insurance in case of injury and occupational disease, unemployment insurance, child benefit as well as administrative legal aid.
One of the most important issues in bilateral agreements concerns pensions. The pension is calculated by applying the provisions of the Agreement relating to the establishment of the right to a pension, depending on whether the user meets the requirements for entitlement to a pension only on the basis of service performed in one contracting state or whether it is also necessary to consider the period spent in service in the other contracting state.
If the conditions for acquiring pension rights are met based on the positive legislation of one contracting state (years of service and age), the insured will be entitled to a so-called independent retirement. In this case, the amount of pension is determined solely on the basis of periods of insurance reached in that contracting state.
On the other hand, if person does not meet the requirements for the right to a pension based on years of service completed under the domestic legislation, than authorities shall take into account the pension service accrued under the legislation of the other contracting state and recognize his/her right of proportional retirement.
In other words, the right to a proportional part of a pension is determined when the insured does not meet the conditions for entitlement to a pension under the legislation of one contracting state.
For the purposes of determining a proportional pension authorities shall take into account only wages, salaries or insurance bases recognized by local regulations, and not earnings per regulations of the other contracting state.
The countries with which Montenegro has signed Agreements on social security include: Bulgaria, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Italy, Netherland, Poland, Germany, Sweden, United Kingdom, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Libya, Egypt, Serbia, Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Macedonia, Luxemburg, Slovenia, Switzerland, Norway, Hungary and Turkey.
Foreigners who are residents of one of the above countries and who have worked or currently work in Montenegro can enjoy the benefits arising from these Agreements.