Social Security Programs Throughout the World: The Americas, 2003

 

Guyana

Exchange rate: U.S.$1.00 equals 195.41 Guyana dollars (G$).

Old Age, Disability, and Survivors

Regulatory Framework

First law: 1944 (old-age assistance).

Current laws: 1969, 1981, 1986, 1989, and 1992.

Type of program: Social insurance system.

Coverage

Employed persons aged 16 to 59 in the public and private sectors and the self-employed.

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

Exclusions: Employees earning below G$7.50 a week, casual employment, and family labor.

Source of Funds

Insured person: 4.8% of earnings. The self-employed contribute 10.47% of income up to the insurable limit. The voluntary insured contribute 8.17% of average weekly income in the last 2 years before they stopped working.

Employer: 7.2% of payroll.

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

The maximum earnings for contribution and benefit purposes are G$19,428 a week.

All of the above contributions also finance cash sickness, maternity, and work injury benefits (except for the self-employed).

Qualifying Conditions

Old-age pension: Age 60 with 750 weeks of contributions paid or credited of which 150 weeks must be paid contributions; 25 weeks of contributions are credited for each year that the insured was over age 35 in 1969, up to a maximum credit of 600 weeks.

Retirement is not necessary.

Old-age grant: The insured does not meet the qualifying conditions for a pension but made at least 50 weeks of contributions before age 60.

Disability pension: Aged 16 to 59 and permanently disabled with a minimum of 250 weekly contributions paid or credited, including at least 150 weeks paid (25 weeks are credited for each year between the onset of disability and age 60).

Disability grant: The insured does not meet the qualifying conditions for a pension but made at least 50 weeks of contributions before the onset of disability.

Survivor pension: The insured was a pensioner or was eligible for a pension at the time of death; or aged 16 to 59 with a minimum of 250 weekly contributions paid or credited, including at least 150 paid contributions.

Survivor grant: The insured did not meet the qualifying conditions for a pension.

Old-Age Benefits

Old-age pension: 40% of average weekly covered earnings during the best 3 years out of the last 5 years before age 60, plus 1% of average weekly covered earnings for every 50-week period of contributions above 750.

The minimum pension is 50% of the minimum wage.

The maximum pension is 60% or average weekly covered earnings.

Old-age grant: 1/12 of average annual covered earnings for every 50-week period of contributions paid or credited.

Permanent Disability Benefits

Disability pension: 30% of average weekly covered earnings during the best 3 years out of the last 5 years before the onset of disability, plus 1% of average weekly covered earnings for every 50-week period of contributions above 250.

The minimum benefit is 50% of the minimum wage.

The maximum benefit is 60% of average weekly covered earnings.

Constant-attendance allowance: G$200 a day.

Disability grant: 1/12 of average annual covered earnings for every 50-week period of contributions paid or credited.

Survivor Benefits

Survivor pension: 50% of the pension paid or payable to the insured, payable to a widow(er).

Child supplement: 16.6% of the insured's pension for each child, up to a maximum of three children.

Full orphan's pension: 33.3% of the pension paid or payable to the insured for each orphan, up to a maximum of three orphans.

Survivor grant: A lump sum is paid if the insured did not meet the qualifying conditions for a pension.

Funeral grant: G$10,630 is paid for the funeral of the insured the insured's spouse.

Administrative Organization

Minister of Finance provides general supervision.

National Insurance Board administers the program.

Sickness and Maternity

Regulatory Framework

First and current law: 1969.

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

Coverage

Public- and private-sector employees and self-employed persons aged 16 to 60.

Exclusions: Employees earning below G$7.50 a week, casual employment, and family labor.

Source of Funds

Insured 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, except as an employer; provides loans to cover any deficits.

Qualifying Conditions

Cash sickness benefits: 50 weeks of contributions and in covered employment during 8 of the 13 weeks before the onset of incapacity. The insured must be under age 60.

Cash maternity benefits: 15 weeks of contributions, including 7 during the 26-week period ending 6 weeks before the expected date of childbirth.

Cash maternity grant: The insured woman or her spouse meets the qualifying conditions for maternity benefit.

Sickness and Maternity Benefits

Sickness benefit: 70% of average weekly covered earnings during the best 8 weeks in the 13 weeks before the onset of incapacity. The benefit is payable from the fourth day of incapacity, for up to a maximum of 26 weeks.

Maternity benefit: 70% of average weekly covered earnings during the best 7 weeks in the 26 weeks before the start of the benefit. The benefit is payable for 13 weeks, including the week of childbirth plus 6 weeks before and 6 weeks after. The benefit may be extended for up to 13 additional weeks if complications arise.

Maternity grant: G$2,000.

Workers' Medical Benefits

No statutory benefits are provided. (Medical care is available in public hospitals and health centers. Medical care involves cost sharing, with the cost scaled to income.)

Administrative Organization

Minister of Finance provides general supervision.

National Insurance Board administers the program.

Work Injury

Regulatory Framework

First law: 1916.

Current law: 1969.

Type of program: Social insurance system.

Coverage

Employed persons in the public and private sectors.

Exclusions: Employees earning below G$7.50 a week, casual employment, and family labor.

Source of Funds

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

Employer: See source of funds under Old Age, Disability, and Survivors, above. (Also contributes an additional 1.53% of insurable earnings to finance employment injury for workers under age 16 or over age 60.)

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

Qualifying Conditions

Work injury benefits: There is no minimum qualifying period.

Temporary Disability Benefits

70% of average weekly covered earnings during the best 8 weeks in the 13 weeks before the onset of disability. The benefit is payable after the first day if the injury lasts for more than 3 days, for up to 26 weeks.

Permanent Disability Benefits

Permanent disability pension: If 100% disabled, the pension is 70% of average weekly covered earnings during the best 8 weeks in the 13 weeks before the onset of disability.

Constant-attendance allowance: G$200 a day.

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

Workers' Medical Benefits

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

Survivor Benefits

Survivor pension: 35% of weekly earnings for a widow(er) or a parent and 11.6% for each other dependent, up to a maximum of 70% of weekly earnings.

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: 23.3% of weekly earnings until age 18.

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

Death benefit: Up to G$250 to the insured's creditors or estate, in the absence of any dependents.

Administrative Organization

Minister of Finance provides general supervision.

National Insurance Board administers the program.