Luxembourg has a very developed and effective social security system. Each citizen is entitled to social aid (family benefits, pensions, reimbursement of medical fees, incapacity for work, etc.).
All Luxembourg residents are subject to the social security system. As a result, any person working in Luxembourg has to be a member of one of the social security funds, depending on their occupation. You can register via the Joint Social Security Centre ('Centre commun de la sécurité sociale' or CCSS).
Functioning of the social security system
The Luxembourg social security system applies to all employees and provides benefits related to illness, workplace accidents and occupational diseases. It also covers insurances related to maternity, old-age, disability, survival, unemployment, nursing care, early retirement, guaranteed minimum wage (revenu minimum garanti or RMG) as well as family benefits.
Social security is managed by public institutions run by the social partners. The conception and supervision in the area of social security are delegated to:
The social security system is financed by the contributions of the insured and the public authorities. Contributions are paid to the CCSS.
In 2001, the Social security celebrated its 100th anniversary in Luxembourg. In fact, compulsory health insurance for workers was introduced in 1901.
Declaring the employee to the CCSS is firstly subject to the employer's obligation.The CCSS then registers the person with the relevant health fund. As soon as someone is registered, they receive a national insurance card that includes the well-known 13-digit social security number. This number is their personal identifier and must be provided every time they come into contact with a care provider (doctors hospitals, pharmacists, etc.).
In Luxembourg, there is a health fund for the private sector, i.e. the National Health Fund ('Caisse nationale de santé' or CNS) and three health funds for those insured in the public sector, i.e.:
- the Health Insurance Fund for Civil Servants and Public Employees (Caisse de maladie des fonctionnaires et employés publics, CMFEP);
- the Health Insurance Fund for Communal Civil Servants and Employees (Caisse de maladie des fonctionnaires et employés communaux, CMFEC);
- the Medical Aid Fund of Luxembourg's National Railway Company ('Société nationale des chemins de fer luxembourgeois').
By registering to one of these health funds, a large portion of the fees related to healthcare is reimbursed, such as appointments at the doctor, physiotherapist or dentist... Patients pay the entire amount due and provide the invoice ('mémoire d'honoraires') to their health fund in order to be reimbursed. The health fund reimburses much of the healthcare costs to patients (the cost of healthcare services as well as reimbursements listed under a nomenclature). Some of the costs are borne by the patients.
Those who wish to benefit from fuller coverage may register to an optional insurance, such as the Complementary Health Insurance Fund ('Caisse médico-complémentaire mutualiste' or CMCM).
In January 2009, the single status entered into force in the private sector and the distinction between blue-collar workers and white-collar workers ended. There is only a single system for the private sector, i.e. that of employees (salariés).
Anyone pursuing a professional activity in the Grand Duchy is covered by the general pension scheme and is registered with the National Retirement Insurance Fund ('Caisse nationale d'assurance pension' or CNAP).
Apart from the general pension insurance scheme, there are special schemes for those working in the public sector and communal administrations, as well as for agents of Luxembourg's National Railway Company.