Social Security Programs Throughout the World: The Americas, 2007

 

Barbados

Exchange rate: US$1.00 equals 2.02 Barbadian dollars (B$).

Old Age, Disability, and Survivors

Regulatory Framework

First law: 1937 (social assistance).

Current law: 1966 (social insurance), with 2002 amendment.

Type of program: Social insurance and social assistance system.

Coverage

Social insurance: All employed persons, public-sector employees, and self-employed persons aged 16 to 65 and 6 months.

Beginning 2006, the pensionable age is increasing gradually by 6 months every 4 years until it reaches age 67 in 2018.

Exclusions: Unpaid family labor.

Social assistance: Residents aged 65 and 6 months or older; aged 18 or older and incapable of work because of an eyesight disorder or serious hearing and speech problems.

Source of Funds

Social insurance

Insured person: 5.93% to 13.50% of covered earnings.

The minimum earnings for contribution purposes are B$21 a week for employees paid weekly or B$91 a month for employees paid monthly.

The maximum earnings for contribution and benefit purposes are B$782 a week for employees paid weekly or B$3,390 a month for employees paid monthly.

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

Self-employed person: 13.5% of quarterly earnings.

The minimum annual earnings for contribution purposes are B$1,092.

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

Employer: 5.93% to 6.75% of covered payroll.

The minimum earnings for contribution purposes are B$21 a week for employees paid weekly or B$91 a month for employees paid monthly.

The maximum earnings for contribution and benefit purposes are B$782 a week for employees paid weekly or B$3,390 a month for employees paid monthly.

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

Government: None; contributes as an employer.

Social assistance

Insured person: None.

Self-employed person: None.

Employer: None.

Government: The total cost.

Qualifying Conditions

Social insurance

Old-age pension: Age 65 and 6 months with 500 weeks of contributions, including at least 150 weeks of paid contributions.

Early pension: Age 60 and no longer employed or self-employed.

Deferred pension: The pension may be deferred until age 70.

Old-age grant: Age 65 and 6 months with at least 50 but not more than 499 contributions.

Old-age benefits are payable abroad.

Disability pension: Younger than age 65 and 6 months, with at least 150 weeks of contributions, and incapable of any work. The degree of incapacity for work is assessed periodically by a National Insurance Office doctor.

Disability grant: Younger than age 65 and 6 months, with at least 50 but not more than 149 contributions, and incapable of any work. The degree of incapacity for work is assessed periodically by a National Insurance Office doctor.

Disability benefits are not payable abroad.

Survivor pension: The deceased had at least 150 weeks of paid contributions.

Eligible survivors are a widow(er) and children.

Funeral grant: The deceased had at least 50 weeks of paid contributions.

Survivor benefits are payable abroad.

Social assistance

Noncontributory old-age pension: Age 65 and 6 months, satisfies the residency conditions, and does not meet the qualifying conditions for a social insurance pension.

Noncontributory disability pension (income-tested): Aged 18 or older, satisfies the residency conditions, is assessed as incapable of work as the result of being assessed as blind or having serious hearing and speech problems, and earns less than B$30 a week.

Old-Age Benefits

Social insurance

Old-age pension: The pension calculation varies according to the insured's age on December 31, 2002.

For insured persons aged 56 or older on December 31, 2002, the pension is equal to 40% of average covered earnings, plus 1% of covered earnings for each 50-week period of contributions exceeding 500 weeks (old basis).

For insured persons aged 47 or younger on December 31, 2002, the pension is calculated on the basis of 2% of average annual earnings for the first 20 years plus 1.25% average annual earnings for each year exceeding 20 (new basis).

For all insured person older than age 47 but younger than age 56 on December 31, 2002, 50% of the pension is calculated according to the old basis and 50% is calculated according to the new basis.

Average earnings are based on earnings in the best 5 years divided by 5; if the number of years worked is less than 15 years, the average is based on total earnings.

The maximum earnings for benefit calculation purposes are B$782 a week for employees paid weekly or B$3,390 a month for employees paid monthly.

The minimum weekly pension is B$123 (January 2008).

The maximum pension is equal to 60% of average covered earnings.

Benefit adjustment: Benefits are adjusted annually according to changes in the cost of living.

Old-age grant: A lump sum is paid equal to 6 weeks' average covered earnings for each 50-week period of contributions.

Social assistance

Noncontributory old-age pension: The minimum weekly pension is B$100 (January 2008).

Benefit adjustment: Benefits are adjusted annually according to changes in the cost of living.

Permanent Disability Benefits

Social insurance

Disability pension: If the insured has an assessed degree of disability of at least 30%, the pension is calculated on the basis of average earnings and the assessed degree of disability.

Average earnings are based on earnings in the best 5 years in the last 15 years; if the number of years worked is less than 5 years, the average is based on total earnings.

The maximum earnings for benefit calculation purposes are B$782 a week for employees paid weekly or B$3,390 a month for employees paid monthly.

The minimum weekly pension is B$123 (January 2008).

The maximum pension for a total permanent disability (100%) is 90% of the insured's average earnings.

Benefit adjustment: Benefits are adjusted annually according to changes in the cost of living.

Disability grant: A lump sum is paid equal to 6 weeks' average covered earnings for each 50-week period of paid or credited contributions.

Social assistance

Noncontributory disability pension (income-tested): The minimum weekly pension is B$96.

Benefit adjustment: Benefits are adjusted annually according to changes in the cost of living.

Survivor Benefits

Survivor pension: The pension is equal to 50% of the pension paid or payable to the deceased if the widow(er) is aged 50 or older and was married to the deceased for at least 3 years.

If the widow(er) is younger than age 50, a limited pension is paid for 12 months (for the duration of the disability if disabled).

Orphan's pension: Each child younger than age 16 (age 25 if a student, no limit if disabled before age 16) receives 16.6% of the deceased's pension; 33.3% if a full orphan or disabled.

Funeral grant: B$1,585 is paid to the person who pays for the funeral of the insured or of the insured's spouse (January 2008).

Benefit adjustment: Benefits are adjusted annually according to changes in the cost of living.

Administrative Organization

Ministry of Finance is responsible for policy.

Directed by a tripartite board, the National Insurance Office (http://www.nis.gov.bb) administers the program.

Sickness and Maternity

Regulatory Framework

First and current law: 1966 (social insurance).

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

Coverage

All employed persons, public-sector employees, and self-employed persons aged 16 to 65 and 6 months.

Exclusions: Unpaid family labor. Permanent government employees are not covered for cash sickness benefits.

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

Qualifying Conditions

Cash sickness benefits: The insured must have at least 7 weeks of paid contributions in the last quarter but one before the quarter in which the incapacity began, and be employed immediately before the incapacity began; at least 39 paid or credited contributions in the four consecutive quarters ending with the last quarter but one before the quarter the incapacity began.

Cash maternity benefits: Employed women must have at least 26 weeks of coverage, including 16 weeks of paid contributions in the two consecutive quarters ending with the last quarter but one before the quarter in which the benefit is paid.

Self-employed women must have at least 39 weeks of contributions in the four consecutive quarters ending with the last quarter but one before the quarter in which the benefit is paid; 16 weeks of paid contributions in the two consecutive quarters ending with the last quarter but one before the quarter in which the benefit is paid.

Maternity grant: Paid for a woman who is not insured or who fails to meet the coverage qualifying condition for cash maternity benefits but whose spouse does meet the coverage qualifying condition.

Funeral grant: Paid for the death of an insured person who was receiving or was eligible to receive contributory sickness, maternity, disability, or old age benefits.

Sickness and Maternity Benefits

Sickness benefit: The benefit is equal to 66.6% of average covered weekly earnings and is paid after a 3-day waiting period for up to 26 weeks; may be extended to 52 weeks if the insured has paid 150 weeks of contributions, including 75 contributions paid or credited in the 3 years before the year the incapacity began. The waiting period is waived if the incapacity lasts 14 days or more.

Maternity benefit: The benefit is equal to 100% of average covered weekly earnings and is paid for up to 6 weeks before and 6 weeks after the expected date of childbirth.

Funeral grant: B$1,585 is paid to the person who pays for the cost of the funeral (January 2008).

Maternity grant: A lump sum of B$910 is paid (January 2008).

Workers' Medical Benefits

Medical benefits: No statutory benefits are provided.

Free medical care is available in public hospitals and health centers.

Dependents' Medical Benefits

Medical benefits for dependents: No statutory benefits are provided.

Free medical care is available in public hospitals and health centers.

Administrative Organization

Ministry of Finance is responsible for policy.

Directed by a tripartite board, the National Insurance Office (http://www.nis.gov.bb) administers the program.

Work Injury

Regulatory Framework

First law: 1916 (workmen's compensation).

Current law: 1966 (social insurance).

Type of program: Social insurance system.

Coverage

All employed persons, public-sector employees, and some categories of fishermen aged 16 to 65 and 6 months.

Exclusions: Self-employed persons and unpaid family labor.

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.

Government: None; contributes as an employer.

Qualifying Conditions

Work injury benefits: There is no minimum qualifying period.

Temporary Disability Benefits

The benefit is equal to 90% of average covered earnings and is paid after a 3-day waiting period for up to 52 weeks. The waiting period is waived if the disability lasts for 21 days or more.

Permanent Disability Benefits

Permanent disability pension: For a total permanent disability (100%), the pension is equal to 90% of the insured's average earnings.

The degree of disability is assessed by the insured's doctor and may be reviewed by National Insurance Office doctors.

Constant-attendance supplement: Equal to 50% of the pension.

Partial disability: A percentage of the full pension is paid according to the assessed degree of disability.

A lump sum is paid if the assessed degree of disability is less than 30%.

Workers' Medical Benefits

Benefits include reimbursement of expenses for medical, surgical, dental, and hospital treatment; nursing care; medicines; appliances; and transportation.

Survivor Benefits

Survivor pension: 50% of the deceased's temporary disability benefit is paid to a dependent spouse.

The pension ceases on remarriage or cohabitation, and a lump sum is paid.

Remarriage settlement: A lump sum equal to a year's pension is paid.

Orphan's pension: Each child younger than age 16 receives 16.6% of the deceased's temporary disability benefit; 33.3% if a full orphan or disabled. There is no age limit for a disabled orphan.

All survivor benefits combined must not exceed 100% of the deceased's temporary disability benefit.

Funeral grant: B$1,585 is paid to the person who pays for the insured's funeral (January 2008).

Administrative Organization

Ministry of Finance is responsible for policy.

Directed by a tripartite board, the National Insurance Office (http://www.nis.gov.bb) administers the program.

Unemployment

Regulatory Framework

First and current law: 1981 (social insurance).

Type of program: Social insurance system.

Coverage

Employees aged 16 to 65 and 6 months.

Exclusions: Self-employed persons, family labor, and permanent government employees.

Source of Funds

Insured person: 0.75% of covered earnings.

The minimum earnings for contribution purposes are B$21 a week for employees paid weekly or B$91 a month for employees paid monthly.

The maximum earnings for contribution and benefit purposes are B$782 a week for employees paid weekly or B$3,390 a month for employees paid monthly.

Self-employed person: Not applicable.

Employer: 0.75% of covered payroll.

The minimum earnings for contribution purposes are B$21 a week for employees paid weekly or B$91 a month for employees paid monthly.

The maximum earnings for contribution and benefit purposes are B$782 a week for employees paid weekly or B$3,390 a month for employees paid monthly.

Government: None; contributes as an employer.

Qualifying Conditions

Unemployment benefit: The insured must be younger than age 65 and 6 months with 52 weeks of coverage; at least 20 weeks of paid or credited contributions in the three consecutive quarters ending with the last quarter but one before unemployment began; at least 7 weeks of paid or credited contributions in the last quarter but one before unemployment began.

Unemployment Benefits

The benefit is equal to 60% of the insured's average covered weekly earnings. The benefit is paid after a 3-day waiting period for up to 26 weeks in any 52-week period. The waiting period is waived if the insured is unemployed for 21 days or more.

Administrative Organization

Ministry of Finance is responsible for policy.

Directed by a tripartite board, the National Insurance Office (http://www.nis.gov.bb) administers the program.