Social Security Programs Throughout the World: Africa, 2009

 

Sierra Leone

Exchange rate: US$1.00 equals 3,000 leones.

Old Age, Disability, and Survivors

Regulatory Framework

First and current law: 2001 (social security).

Type of program: Social insurance system.

Coverage

Employees in the public and private sectors.

Voluntary coverage for the self-employed and for persons who leave insured employment.

Source of Funds

Insured person: 5% of monthly salary; voluntary contributors pay 15% of monthly income.

Self-employed person: 15% of monthly income.

Employer: 10% of monthly payroll.

Government: 2.5% of monthly income for all employees; 10% of monthly income for all civil servants, teachers, and military and police force personnel (plus 2% of monthly income to finance retirement at age 55 for military and police force personnel).

Qualifying Conditions

Old-age pension: Age 60 (men and women) or age 55 (military and police force personnel) with at least 180 months of contributions. Employment must cease.

Early pension: Paid from age 55 with at least 180 months of contributions.

Old-age gratuity: Paid to each person who is entitled to an old-age pension on retirement.

Old-age grant: Paid from age 55 if the insured does not meet the qualifying conditions for an old-age pension.

Old-age benefits are not payable abroad.

Disability pension: The insured is assessed with a permanent and total incapacity for employment and is younger than age 60 with at least 5 years of contributions, including at least 12 months of paid contributions in the 3 years before the disability began, or with at least 180 months of contributions in total.

The disability pension ceases at the normal retirement age and is replaced by the old-age pension.

The disability must be assessed by a medical officer certified by the medical board.

Disability grant: The insured is assessed as permanently and totally incapable of further employment and does not meet the qualifying conditions for a disability pension.

Disability benefits are not payable abroad.

Survivor pension: The deceased met the qualifying conditions, was receiving an old-age or disability pension, or had at least 5 years of contributions, including at least 12 months of paid contributions in the 3 years before the date of death.

Eligible survivors are the widow(er), dependent children younger than age 18 (age 23 if a full-time student, no limit if disabled), and parents.

The widow(er)'s pension ceases on remarriage.

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

Survivor benefits are not payable abroad.

Old-Age Benefits

Old-age pension: The pension is equal to 30% of the insured's average monthly earnings for the first 15 years of coverage plus 2% of average monthly earnings for each additional 12-month coverage period.

Average earnings for benefit calculation purposes are average earnings in the best 5 years of contributions.

Public and private-sector employees employed as of January 1, 2002, are credited for benefit calculation purposes for employment periods before the introduction of the program in 2001.

The minimum pension is at least equal to 50% of the national minimum wage.

The monthly national minimum wage is 25,000 leones.

The maximum pension is equal to 80% of the insured's average monthly earnings.

Early pension: The pension is reduced by 4% for each year that the pension is taken before age 60.

Old-age gratuity: A lump sum equal to 12 months of pension is paid to each old-age pensioner on retirement.

Old-age grant: The grant is equal to 1.5 times the insured's average monthly earnings for each 12-month period of contributions.

Benefit adjustment: Benefits are adjusted periodically according to changes in wages, depending on the financial resources of the National Social Security and Insurance Trust.

Permanent Disability Benefits

Disability pension: The pension is equal to 30% of the insured's average monthly earnings for the first 15 years of coverage plus 2% of average monthly earnings for each additional 12-month period of coverage. A 6-month coverage period is credited for each year that a claim is made before the normal retirement age.

The minimum disability pension is equal to at least 50% of the national minimum wage.

The monthly national minimum wage is 25,000 leones.

Disability grant: The grant is equal to 1.5 times the insured's average monthly earnings for each 12-month period of contributions.

Benefit adjustment: Benefits are adjusted periodically according to changes in the cost of living, depending on the financial resources of the National Social Security and Insurance Trust.

Survivor Benefits

Survivor pension: 40% of the deceased's pension is paid to a widow(er). If there is more than one widow, the pension is split equally.

Orphan's pension: A maximum of 60% of the deceased's pension is paid for orphans.

Parent's pension (in the absence of other eligible survivors): A lump sum equal to 12 months of survivor pension is paid to a parent who is employed or receiving a pension; 24 months of survivor pension is paid to a parent who is not employed or receiving a pension.

All survivor benefits combined must not exceed 100% of the old-age or disability pension the deceased received or would have been entitled to receive at the time of death.

Survivor grant: The grant is equal to 1.5 times the insured's average monthly earnings for each 12-month period of contributions.

Benefit adjustment: Benefits are adjusted periodically according to changes in the cost of living, depending on the financial resources of the National Social Security and Insurance Trust.

Administrative Organization

National Social Security and Insurance Trust (http://www.nassitsl.org) administers the program.

Sickness and Maternity

Regulatory Framework

No statutory benefits are provided.

Employers provide medical care for employees and their dependents through collective agreements.

Work Injury

Regulatory Framework

First law: 1939.

Current law: 1960 (workmen's compensation), with 1962, 1969, and 1971 amendments.

Type of program: Employer-liability system, normally involving compulsory insurance with a private carrier.

Coverage

Employed persons.

Exclusions: Agricultural employees working on plantations with fewer than 25 workers, household workers, self-employed persons, casual workers, family labor, and home-based workers.

Source of Funds

Insured person: None.

Self-employed person: Not applicable.

Employer: The total cost is met through direct provision of benefits or the payment of insurance premiums.

Government: An approved annual contribution.

Qualifying Conditions

Work injury benefits: There is no minimum qualifying period.

Temporary Disability Benefits

The benefit is equal to 66.7% of the insured's earnings and is paid after a 3-day waiting period for up to 96 months.

The benefit may be paid as a lump sum, calculated according to the expected duration of entitlement.

Permanent Disability Benefits

Permanent disability benefit: If the insured is assessed with a total disability, a lump sum is paid equal to 48 months of earnings.

Constant-attendance allowance: If the insured requires the constant attendance of others to perform daily functions, up to 25% of the permanent disability benefit is paid.

Partial disability: A percentage of 56 months of earnings is paid, up to a maximum, according to the assessed degree of disability.

Workers' Medical Benefits

Medical benefits include medical, dental, and surgical care; hospitalization; medicines; appliances; and the cost of transportation, up to a maximum.

Survivor Benefits

Survivor benefit: A lump sum equal to 42 months of the deceased's earnings (minus any disability benefits paid) is paid to the deceased's dependents; partial dependents may receive a reduced benefit.

Funeral grant (in the absence of eligible survivors): A lump sum is paid to cover the cost of the burial, up to a maximum.

Administrative Organization

Ministry of Employment and Social Security is responsible for the program.

Employers may insure against liability with private insurance companies.