Social Security Programs Throughout the World: The Americas, 2011

 

Barbados

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

Old Age, Disability, and Survivors

Regulatory Framework

First law: 1937 (social assistance).

Current law: 1966 (social insurance).

Type of program: Social insurance and social assistance system.

Coverage

Social insurance: All employed and self-employed persons aged 16 to 66 (gradually rising to 67 by 2018), including public-sector employees.

Exclusions: Unpaid family labor.

Social assistance: Residents aged 66 (gradually rising to age 67 by 2018) or older; aged 18 or older and incapable of work because of serious problems with eyesight, or hearing and speech.

Source of Funds

Insured person

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

The minimum earnings used to calculate contributions are B$21 a week for employees paid weekly or B$91 a month for employees paid monthly.

The maximum earnings used to calculate contributions are B$944 (rising to B$965 in January 2012) a week for employees paid weekly or B$4,090 (rising to B$4,180 in January 2012) 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 used to calculate contributions 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 used to calculate contributions are B$21 a week for employees paid weekly or B$91 a month for employees paid monthly.

The maximum earnings used to calculate contributions are B$944 (rising to B$965 in January 2012) a week for employees paid weekly or B$4,090 (rising to B$4,180 in January 2012) 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 66 (gradually rising to age 67 by 2018) with at least 500 weeks of coverage, 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 66 (gradually rising to age 67 by 2018) with at least 50 but not more than 499 weeks of contributions.

Old-age benefits are payable abroad.

Disability pension: Younger than pensionable age with at least 150 weeks of contributions and incapable of any work.

Disability grant: Younger than pensionable age 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 received or was eligible to receive the old-age or disability pension.

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: Aged 66 (gradually rising to age 67 by 2018) or older, meets the residency conditions, and does not qualify for a social insurance pension.

Noncontributory disability pension (income-tested): Aged 18 or older; meets the residency conditions; is assessed with an incapacity for work as the result of a serious problem with eyesight, or hearing and speech; 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 total earnings used to calculate contributions for 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 persons 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% on the second.

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

The maximum earnings used to calculate benefits are B$944 (rising to B$965 in January 2012) a week for employees paid weekly or B$4,090 (rising to B$4,180 in January 2012) a month for employees paid monthly.

The minimum weekly pension is B$163 (rising to B$170 in January 2012).

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 six 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$133 (rising to B$138 in January 2012).

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 used to calculate contributions for contributions exceeding 500 weeks, up to 60% of average annual insurable earnings.

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

The maximum earnings used to calculate benefits are B$944 (rising to B$965 in January 2012) a week for employees paid weekly or B$4,090 (rising to B$4,180 in January 2012) a month for employees paid monthly.

The minimum weekly pension is B$163 (rising to B$170 in January 2012).

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

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

Average earnings are based on earnings in the best three 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$133 (rising to B$138 in January 2012).

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

Survivor Benefits

Survivor pension: 50% of the pension the deceased received or was eligible to receive is paid to a widow(er) aged 50 or older who was married to the deceased for at least three years. A limited pension is paid for 12 months (without limit of age or length of payment if disabled) to a widow(er) younger than age 50.

Orphan's pension: 16.6% of the pension the deceased received or was eligible to receive is paid to each child younger than age 16 (age 25 if a student, no limit if disabled before age 16); 33.3% if a full orphan or disabled.

Funeral grant: A lump sum of B$1,815 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.

National Insurance Office (http://www.nis.gov.bb), directed by a tripartite board, 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 and self-employed persons aged 16 to 66 (gradually rising to 67 by 2018), including public-sector employees.

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.

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

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

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

Qualifying Conditions

Cash sickness benefits: The insured must have been employed immediately before the incapacity began; must have at least seven weeks of paid contributions in the second to last quarter before the incapacity began; and must have at least 39 weeks of 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 does not meet the qualifying conditions for cash maternity benefits but whose spouse does.

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

Sickness and Maternity Benefits

Sickness benefit: 66.6% of average covered weekly earnings is paid after a three-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 75 weeks of contributions in the three years before the year the incapacity began. The waiting period is waived if the incapacity lasts at least 14 days or more.

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

Funeral grant: A lump sum of B$1,815 is paid to the person who pays for the funeral.

Maternity grant: A lump sum of B$1,045 is paid.

Workers' Medical Benefits

No statutory benefits are provided.

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

Dependents' Medical Benefits

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.

National Insurance Office (http://www.nis.gov.bb), directed by a tripartite board, 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 66 (gradually rising to 67 by 2018), 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.

Self-employed person: Not applicable.

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

Government: None; contributes as an employer.

Qualifying Conditions

Work injury benefits: There is no minimum qualifying period.

Temporary Disability Benefits

90% of average covered earnings is paid after a three-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%), 90% of the insured's average earnings is paid.

The insured's doctor assesses the degree of disability, which 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 was eligible 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: 16.6% of the temporary disability benefit the deceased received or was eligible to receive is paid to each child younger than age 16; 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$1,815 is paid to the person who pays for the insured's funeral.

Administrative Organization

Ministry of Finance is responsible for policy.

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

Unemployment

Regulatory Framework

First and current law: 1981 (social insurance).

Type of program: Social insurance system.

Coverage

Employees aged 16 to 66 (gradually rising to age 67 by 2018).

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

Source of Funds

Insured person: 0.75% of covered earnings.

The minimum earnings used to calculate contributions are B$21 a week for employees paid weekly or B$91 a month for employees paid monthly.

The maximum earnings used to calculate contributions are B$944 (rising to B$965 in January 2012) a week for employees paid weekly or B$4,090 (rising to B$4,180 in January 2012) a month for employees paid monthly.

Self-employed person: Not applicable.

Employer: 0.75% of covered payroll.

The minimum earnings used to calculate contributions are B$21 a week for employees paid weekly or B$91 a month for employees paid monthly.

The maximum earnings used to calculate contributions are B$944 (rising to B$965 in January 2012) a week for employees paid weekly or B$4,090 (rising to B$4,180 in January 2012) a month for employees paid monthly.

Government: None; contributes as an employer.

Qualifying Conditions

Unemployment benefit: The insured must be younger than age 66 (gradually rising to age 67 in 2018) with at least 52 weeks of coverage; must have at least seven 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

60% of the insured's average covered weekly earnings is paid after a three-day waiting period for up to 40 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.

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