Social Security Programs Throughout the World: The Americas, 2003

 

Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

Exchange rate: U.S.$1.00 equals 2.70 East Caribbean dollars (E.C.$).

Old Age, Disability, and Survivors

Regulatory Framework

First law: 1970 (provident fund).

Current law: 1986 (social insurance).

Type of program: Social insurance system.

Coverage

Employed persons aged 16 to 59 and the self-employed.

Source of Funds

Insured person: 2.5% of earnings.

Employer: 3.5% of payroll.

Government: None.

The maximum monthly earnings for contribution purposes are E.C.$3,770.

All of the above contributions also finance sickness and maternity benefits and work injury benefits.

Qualifying Conditions

Old-age pension: Age 60 with 500 weeks of contributions.

Old-age grant: Age 60 with 50 weeks of contributions.

Disability pension: Under age 60 and disabled with 150 weeks of contributions.

Survivor pension: 150 weeks of contributions.

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

Funeral grants: The insured was eligible for a pension.

Old-Age Benefits

Old-age pension: 30% of average annual earnings. The pension is increased if the insured has over 500 weeks of contributions.

Provisional or reduced pension: A pension may be paid with 150 weeks of contributions; the benefit increases with 25 additional weekly contributions a year.

The minimum benefit is E.C.$55 a week.

The maximum benefit is 60% of average annual earnings.

Old-age grant: Six times the average weekly wage for each 50-week period of contributions.

Permanent Disability Benefits

30% of average earnings with between 150 and 500 contributions; the pension is increased if the insured has over 500 contributions.

The minimum benefit is E.C.$55 a week.

The maximum benefit is 60% of average annual earnings.

Survivor Benefits

Survivor pension: 75% of the insured's pension, payable to a surviving spouse aged 50 or older or disabled or caring for a child who is eligible for survivor benefits. The pension is payable for 1 year to a pregnant widow under age 50 with no dependent children; the benefit continues if the child is born and is eligible for benefits.

Orphan's pension: 25% of the insured's pension for each dependent child under age 16 (age 18 if a student); 50% for a full orphan.

Other eligible survivors (in the absence of the above): Dependent parents may be eligible.

Survivor grant: A benefit is provided.

Funeral grant: E.C.$2,000 is payable to the person who paid for the funeral.

Administrative Organization

National Insurance Board administers the program.

Sickness and Maternity

Regulatory Framework

First and current law: 1986.

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

Coverage

Employed persons aged 16 to 60.

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

Qualifying Conditions

Cash sickness benefits: Currently employed with 26 weeks of contributions, including 8 weeks in the last 13 weeks before onset of illness.

Cash maternity benefits: Thirty weeks of contributions, including 20 weeks during the 30-week period immediately preceding the claim.

Maternity grant: The woman or her husband meets the qualifying conditions for cash sickness benefit.

Sickness and Maternity Benefits

Sickness benefit: 65% of average earnings during the 13 weeks before the onset of illness. The benefit is payable for up to 26 weeks.

Maternity benefit: 65% of average earnings during the 30 weeks before the start of benefit. The benefit is payable for up to 13 weeks (including the week of childbirth, plus 6 weeks before and 6 weeks after).

Maternity grant: E.C.$500.

Administrative Organization

National Insurance Board administers the program.

Work Injury

Regulatory Framework

First law: 1939.

Current law: 1997.

Type of program: Social insurance system.

Coverage

Employed persons.

Exclusion: Self-employed persons.

Source of Funds

Insured person: None.

Employer: 0.05% of payroll.

Government: 0.05% of payroll as an employer.

Qualifying Conditions

Work injury benefits: The insured must be employed. Employees older and younger than the usual insurable ages are eligible. The benefit is paid for an occupational injury only.

Temporary Disability Benefits

70% of average weekly insurable earnings for a period of 26 weeks in the first instance; thereafter, for 52 weeks.

Permanent Disability Benefits

70% of average weekly insurable earnings for the duration of the disability. The assessed degree of disability must exceed 30%, and the insured must have exhausted entitlement to the temporary disability benefit.

Constant-attendance allowance: 150% of the disability pension for as long as constant attendance is required. Must be an outpatient receiving a permanent disability pension (100% disability) and in need of the constant attendance of another.

Disability grant: If the assessed degree of disability is less than 30%, a lump sum is paid equal to 365 times average weekly insurable earnings. The insured must have exhausted entitlement to a temporary disability benefit.

Workers' Medical Benefits

Benefits include medical, surgical, and hospital treatment; medicines; appliances; and transportation.

Survivor Benefits

Survivor benefit: The insured's death resulted from a work injury or an occupational disease. A widow(er), unmarried children, and any other person who was fully dependent on the insured may qualify. Insured workers have the prior option of naming the beneficiary.

Widow(er) pension: 35% of average weekly insurable earnings. The pension is paid to the widow(er) until death or remarriage.

Orphan's pension: 11.6% of average weekly insurable earnings (23% if disabled) to children up to age 16 (age 18 if a full-time student).

Other dependents: 11.6% of average weekly insurable earnings for 1 year.

Funeral grant: If the insured died as the result of a work injury or an occupational disease, E.C.$3,600 is payable to the person who paid for the funeral.

Administrative Organization

National Insurance Board administers the program.