Social Security Programs Throughout the World: The Americas, 2009

 

Guyana

Exchange rate: US$1.00 equals 200.34 Guyana dollars (G$).

Old Age, Disability, and Survivors

Regulatory Framework

First law: 1944 (old-age assistance).

Current law: 1969 (social security), with amendments.

Type of program: Social insurance system.

Note: Social Security and Senior Citizens Welfare Department administers social assistance benefits to persons aged 65 or older, the needy, the infirm, and orphans younger than age 16.

Coverage

All public- and private-sector employees and self-employed persons aged 16 to 59.

Voluntary coverage is possible for previously insured persons until age 60.

Exclusions: Employed persons earning less than G$7.50 a week, casual employees, and family labor.

Source of Funds

Insured person: 5.2% of covered earnings. The voluntarily insured contribute 9.3% of average weekly earnings in the last 2 years before covered employment ceased.

The maximum weekly earnings for contribution calculation purposes are G$26,229 (adjusted annually).

Contributions are paid weekly or monthly, depending on the nature of employment.

The insured's contributions also finance cash sickness, maternity, and work injury benefits.

Self-employed person: 11.5% of declared income, up to a maximum.

Contributions are paid weekly or monthly, depending on the nature of employment.

The self-employed person's contributions also finance cash sickness and maternity benefits.

Employer: 7.8% of covered monthly payroll.

The maximum weekly earnings for contribution calculation purposes are G$26,229 (adjusted annually).

The employer's contributions also finance cash sickness, maternity, and work injury benefits.

Government: None; contributes as an employer; provides loans to cover any deficits.

Qualifying Conditions

Old-age pension: Age 60 with at least 750 weeks of paid or credited contributions, including at least 150 weeks of paid contributions; 25 weeks of contributions are credited for each year that the insured was older than age 35 in 1969, up to 600 weeks.

Retirement is not necessary.

Old-age grant: Paid if the insured does not satisfy the qualifying conditions for an old-age pension but had at least 50 weeks of contributions before age 60.

Old-age benefits are not payable abroad.

Disability pension: Aged 16 to 59 with an assessed degree of permanent disability of at least 15%.

The assessed degree of disability is reviewed by the National Insurance Medical Board when required.

Constant-attendance allowance: Paid if the insured requires the constant attendance of others to perform daily functions.

Disability grant: Aged 16 to 59 with an assessed degree of permanent disability of less than 15%.

Disability benefits are not payable abroad.

Survivor pension: The deceased was a pensioner or was eligible for an old-age pension or disability pension at the time of death; or aged 16 to 59 with at least 250 weekly paid or credited contributions, including at least 150 paid contributions.

Eligible survivors are the widow(er) and orphans younger than age 18.

Survivor grant: Paid if the deceased would have been eligible for an old-age grant or a disability grant.

Eligible survivors are the widow(er) and orphans younger than age 18.

Survivor benefits are not payable abroad.

Funeral grant: The insured had at least 50 weeks of paid contributions. The grant is paid to help meet the cost of the funeral of the insured person or his or her spouse.

Old-Age Benefits

Old-age pension: The pension is 40% of the insured's average weekly covered earnings plus 1% of average weekly covered earnings for each 50-week period of contributions exceeding 750.

Average weekly covered earnings are based on the insured's best 3 years of earnings in the last 5 years before age 60.

The maximum weekly earnings for benefit calculation purposes are G$26,229.

The minimum pension is 50% of the minimum wage.

The public sector weekly minimum wage is G$34,055.

The maximum pension is 60% of the insured's average weekly covered earnings.

Old-age grant: The grant is 8.3% of the insured's average annual covered earnings multiplied by the number of 50-week periods of paid or credited contributions.

Permanent Disability Benefits

Disability pension: The pension is 30% of the insured's average weekly covered earnings plus 1% of average weekly covered earnings for each 50-week period of contributions exceeding 250.

Average weekly covered earnings are based on the insured's best 3 years of earnings in the last 5 years before the disability began.

The maximum weekly earnings for benefit calculation purposes are G$26,229.

The minimum pension is 40% of the minimum wage.

The public sector minimum wage is G$34,055.

The maximum pension is 60% of the insured's average weekly covered earnings.

Constant-attendance allowance: G$200 a day is paid.

Disability grant: The grant is 8.3% of the insured's average annual covered earnings multiplied by the number of 50-week periods of paid or credited contributions.

Average weekly covered earnings are based on the insured's best 3 years of earnings in the last 5 years before the disability began.

Survivor Benefits

Survivor pension: The widow(er)'s pension is 50% of the pension the deceased received or would have been entitled to receive.

Child's supplement: 16.6% of the deceased's pension is paid for each child, up to three children.

Full orphan's pension: Each full orphan receives a pension of 33.3% of the pension the deceased received or would have been entitled to receive, up to three orphans.

All survivor benefits combined must not exceed 100% of the deceased's pension.

Survivor grant: A lump sum is paid if the deceased did not meet the qualifying conditions for a pension but would have been entitled to an old-age grant or disability grant.

Funeral grant: G$18,840 is paid to the person who pays for the funeral.

Administrative Organization

Minister of Finance provides general supervision.

Ministry of Labor, Human Services, and Social Security (http://www.mlhsss.gov.gy) administers the program.

Sickness and Maternity

Regulatory Framework

First and current law: 1969 (social security).

Type of program: Social insurance system. Cash benefits only.

Coverage

All public- and private-sector employees and self-employed persons aged 16 to 59.

Exclusions: Employed persons earning less than G$7.50 a week, casual employees, and family labor.

Source of Funds

Insured person: See source of funds under Old Age, Disability, and Survivors, above.

Self-employed person: See source of funds under Old Age, Disability, and Survivors, above.

Employer: See source of funds under Old Age, Disability, and Survivors, above.

Government: None; contributes as an employer; provides loans to cover any deficits.

Qualifying Conditions

Cash sickness benefits: The insured must be younger than age 60, have been in covered employment in at least 8 of the 13 weeks before the incapacity began, and have at least 50 weeks of contributions.

Cash maternity benefits: The insured must have at least 15 weeks of contributions, including at least 7 in the 26-week period ending 6 weeks before the expected date of childbirth.

Cash maternity grant: Paid to an insured woman who does not satisfy the qualifying conditions for a maternity benefit but whose insured husband does.

Sickness and Maternity Benefits

Sickness benefit: The benefit is 70% of average weekly covered earnings and is paid from the fourth day of incapacity for up to 26 weeks.

Average weekly covered earnings are calculated based on the best 8 weeks of earnings in the 13 weeks before the incapacity began.

Maternity benefit: The benefit is 70% of average weekly covered earnings and is paid for 13 weeks, including the week of childbirth plus 6 weeks before and 6 weeks after; may be extended for an additional 13 weeks in the event of complications from childbirth.

Average weekly covered earnings are calculated based on the best 7 weeks of earnings in the 26 weeks before the start of the benefit.

Maternity grant: A lump sum of G$2,000 is paid.

Workers' Medical Benefits

Medical benefits: No statutory benefits are provided.

Medical care is available in public hospitals and health centers. Medical care involves cost sharing on an income-tested basis.

Dependents' Medical Benefits

Medical benefits for dependents: No statutory benefits are provided.

Medical care is available in public hospitals and health centers. Medical care involves cost sharing on an income-tested basis.

Administrative Organization

Minister of Finance provides general supervision.

Ministry of Labor, Human Services, and Social Security (http://www.mlhsss.gov.gy) administers the program.

Work Injury

Regulatory Framework

First law: 1916.

Current law: 1969 (social security).

Type of program: Social insurance system.

Coverage

All public- and private-sector employees.

Exclusions: Employed persons earning less than G$7.50 a week, casual workers, family labor, and self-employed persons.

Source of Funds

Insured person: See source of funds under Old Age, Disability, and Survivors, above.

Self-employed person: Not applicable.

Employer: See source of funds under Old Age, Disability, and Survivors, above; also contributes an additional 1.53% of covered earnings to finance work injury benefits for workers younger than age 16 or older than age 59.

Government: None; contributes as an employer; provides loans to cover any deficits.

Qualifying Conditions

Work injury benefits: There is no minimum qualifying period.

Temporary Disability Benefits

The benefit is 70% of average weekly covered earnings and is paid retroactively after the first day if the injury lasts for more than 3 days, for up to 26 weeks.

Average weekly covered earnings are calculated based on the best 8 weeks of earnings in the 13 weeks before the disability began.

Permanent Disability Benefits

Permanent disability pension: For a total disability (100%), the pension is 70% of average weekly covered earnings.

Average weekly covered earnings are calculated based on the best 8 weeks of earnings in the 13 weeks before the disability began.

Constant-attendance allowance: G$200 a day is paid if the insured requires the constant attendance of others to perform daily functions.

Partial disability: If the assessed degree of disability is at least 15%, a reduced pension is paid according to the assessed degree of disability. If the assessed degree of disability is less than 15%, a lump sum of 260 times the weekly disability benefit multiplied by the assessed degree of disability is paid.

The assessed degree of disability is reviewed by the National Insurance Medical Board when required.

Workers' Medical Benefits

Benefits include hospitalization, general and specialist care, medicine, and transportation.

Survivor Benefits

Survivor pension: The pension is 35% of the deceased's weekly earnings for a widow(er) or parent and 11.6% for each other dependent, up to 70% of the deceased's weekly earnings.

Eligible survivors are the deceased's spouse, a dependent parent, and any other dependent person.

The minimum pension for a widow(er) or parent is 50% of the old-age or disability minimum pension; for a child, 16.6% of the old-age or disability minimum pension.

Full orphan's pension: Each full orphan younger than age 18 receives a pension of 23.3% of the deceased's weekly earnings.

The minimum orphan's pension is 33.3% of the old-age or disability minimum pension.

Death benefit: In the absence of any dependents, up to G$250 is paid to the insured's creditors or estate.

Administrative Organization

Minister of Finance provides general supervision.

Under the direction of the National Insurance Board, the National Insurance Scheme (http://www.nis.org.gy) administers the program.