Social Security Programs Throughout the World: The Americas, 2009

 

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 2008 amendment.

Type of program: Social insurance and social assistance system.

Coverage

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

Beginning in 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 serious eyesight, hearing, or speech problems.

Source of Funds

Insured person

Social insurance: 5.93% to 13.50% of covered earnings.

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

The maximum earnings for contribution calculation purposes are B$858 a week for employees paid weekly or B$3,720 a month for employees paid monthly.

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

Social assistance: None.

Self-employed person

Social insurance: 16.1% of quarterly earnings.

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

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

Social assistance: None.

Employer

Social insurance: 5.93% to 6.75% of covered payroll.

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

The maximum earnings for contribution calculation purposes are B$858 a week for employees paid weekly or B$3,720 a month for employees paid monthly.

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

Social assistance: None.

Government

Social insurance: None; contributes as an employer.

Social assistance: The total cost.

Qualifying Conditions

Social insurance

Old-age pension: Age 65 and 6 months with at least 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.

Disability grant: Younger than age 65 and 6 months, with at least 50 but not more than 149 weeks of contributions, and incapable of any work.

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 qualify for a social insurance pension.

Noncontributory disability pension (income-tested): Aged 18 or older; satisfies the residency conditions; is assessed with an incapacity for work as the result of a serious eyesight, hearing, or speech problem; and earns less than B$30 a week.

Old-Age Benefits

Social insurance

Old-age pension: For insured persons aged 56 or older on December 31, 2002, the pension is 40% of average covered earnings plus 1% of covered earnings for each 50-week period of contributions exceeding 500 weeks.

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

For all insured person older than age 47 but younger than age 56 on December 31, 2002, 50% of the pension is based on the first method of calculation and 50% is based on the second method.

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$858 a week for employees paid weekly or B$3,720 a month for employees paid monthly.

The minimum weekly pension is B$148.

The maximum pension is 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 of 6 weeks of average covered earnings is paid for each 50-week period of contributions.

Social assistance

Noncontributory old-age pension: The minimum weekly pension is B$121.

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

Permanent Disability Benefits

Social insurance

Disability pension: The pension is 40% of the average annual insurable earnings plus 1% of total earnings on which contributions were based for contributions exceeding 500 weeks, up to 60% of average annual insurable earnings.

Average earnings are based on earnings in the best 3 years of contributions; 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$858 a week for employees paid weekly or B$3,720 a month for employees paid monthly.

The minimum weekly pension is B$148.

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

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

Average earnings are based on earnings in the best 3 years of contributions; if the number of years worked is less than 15 years, the average is based on total earnings.

Social assistance

Noncontributory disability pension (income-tested): The minimum weekly pension is B$121.

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

Survivor Benefits

Survivor pension: If the widow(er) is aged 50 or older and was married to the deceased for at least 3 years, the pension is 50% of the pension the deceased received or would have been entitled to receive.

If the widow(er) is younger than age 50, a limited pension is paid for 12 months (without limit of age or length of payment 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 pension the deceased received or would have been entitled to receive; 33.3% if a full orphan or disabled.

Funeral grant: A lump sum of B$1,650 is paid to the person who pays for the funeral of the insured or of the insured's spouse.

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

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 been employed immediately before the incapacity began; must have at least 7 weeks of paid contributions in the second to last quarter before the incapacity began; and must have at least 39 paid or credited contributions in the four consecutive quarters ending in the second to last quarter before 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 in the second to last quarter before the benefit is paid.

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

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

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

Sickness and Maternity Benefits

Sickness benefit: The benefit is 66.6% of average covered weekly earnings and is paid after a 3-day waiting period for up to 26 weeks; may be extended for an additional 26 weeks if the insured has paid at least 150 weeks of contributions, including at least 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 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: A lump sum of B$1,650 is paid to the person who pays for the funeral.

Maternity grant: A lump sum of B$950 is paid.

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

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 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 14 days or more.

Permanent Disability Benefits

Permanent disability pension: For a total permanent disability (100%), the pension is 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: 50% of the pension is paid if the insured requires the constant attendance of others to perform daily functions.

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; medicine; appliances; and transportation.

Survivor Benefits

Survivor pension: 50% of the temporary disability benefit the deceased received or would have been entitled to receive is paid to a dependent spouse.

Remarriage settlement: The pension ceases on remarriage or cohabitation and a lump sum of one year of pension is paid.

Orphan's pension: Each child younger than age 16 receives 16.6% of the temporary disability benefit the deceased received or would have been entitled to receive; 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: A lump sum of B$1,650 is paid to the person who pays for the insured's funeral.

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 calculation purposes are B$21 a week for employees paid weekly or B$91 a month for employees paid monthly.

The maximum earnings for contribution calculation purposes are B$858 a week for employees paid weekly or B$3,720 a month for employees paid monthly.

Self-employed person: Not applicable.

Employer: 0.75% of covered payroll.

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

The maximum earnings for contribution calculation purposes are B$858 a week for employees paid weekly or B$3,720 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 at least 52 weeks of coverage; must have at least 7 weeks of paid or credited contributions in the second to last quarter before the unemployment began; and must have at least 20 weeks of paid or credited contributions in the three consecutive quarters ending in the second to last quarter before the unemployment began.

Unemployment Benefits

The benefit is 60% of the insured's average covered weekly earnings and 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 at least 14 days.

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.