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The contributory level of the Spanish Social Security System is organised into different schemes, which include those persons who, while carrying out a professional activity, are included in its scope of application.

Thus, it complies with Art. 9.1 of the LGSS, the system includes the following schemes:

  1. The General Scheme made up of employed workers from industry and services.
  2. The Special Schemes, in which activities are provided for that, due to their nature, their particular conditions relating to working hours and location, or the nature of their productive processes, makes them necessary in order to implement Social Security benefits appropriately.

    This system has, therefore, a plural configuration, in which, the General Scheme is the basis, both for the number of workers that join and for the scope of its protective action.

    There are, however, a series of common legal principles or measures :
    1. A common legal framework for the entire system, including the regulations dealing with topics such as affiliation, contributions, collection and protective action.
    2. A unique and lifelong affiliation with the System, irrespective of the scheme in which a worker has active contributor status.
    3. The adding together of all the time spent in each of the schemes, as long as they do not overlap, when workers pass from one scheme to another.
    4. The reciprocal contribution calculation with the state´s Passive Classes Scheme for common benefits for the schemes in question.
    5. The existence of "common services" to carry out functions that affect all schemes included in the system.
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