Social Security Programs Throughout the World: The Americas, 2009

 

Bermuda

Exchange rate: US$1.00 equals 1 Bermuda dollar (B$).

Old Age, Disability, and Survivors

Regulatory Framework

First law: 1967 (old-age and survivors).

Current laws: 1970 (old-age and survivors), with amendments; 1980 (disability); and 1998 (occupational pensions), implemented in 2000, with amendment.

Type of program: Social insurance, mandatory occupational pension, and social assistance system.

Coverage

Social insurance

Employed and self-employed persons older than age 18.

Voluntary coverage for persons who were previously covered.

Exclusions: Those who are not ordinarily residents, unless gainfully employed for more than 26 consecutive weeks; full-time students up to age 26 who work weekends or during school vacations.

Mandatory occupational pension

Employees aged 23 or older who are citizens or the spouse of a citizen and who have worked 720 hours or more for their current employer in any calendar year; self-employed persons aged 23 or older with annual earnings greater than B$2,000 who are citizens or the spouse of a citizen.

Social assistance

All residents of Bermuda.

Source of Funds

Social insurance

Insured person: B$30.40 a week; none if older than age 65.

Self-employed person: B$60.80 a week; B$30.40 if older than age 65.

Employer: B$30.40 a week for employees.

Government: None; contributes as an employer.

Mandatory occupational pension

Insured person: 5% of covered earnings.

The maximum annual earnings for contribution calculation purposes are B$200,000.

Self-employed person: 10% of declared earnings. Additional voluntary contributions are possible.

The maximum mandatory contribution on declared earnings is B$5,000 a year.

Employer: 5% of covered earnings.

The maximum annual earnings for contribution calculation purposes are B$200,000.

Government: None.

Social assistance

Insured person: None.

Self-employed person: None.

Employer: None.

Government: The total cost.

Qualifying Conditions

Social insurance

Old-age pension: Age 65 with at least 484 weeks of contributions, including at least 50 weeks of contributions for each year of coverage. Retirement is not necessary.

Partial pension: A reduced pension is paid for each year of coverage for individuals with 25 to 49 weeks of contributions.

The old-age pension is payable abroad.

Old-age settlement: Age 65 and does not satisfy the qualifying conditions for the old-age pension.

Disability pension: Aged 18 to 64, employed immediately before the disability began, and unable to work for a full year. The insured must have at least 150 weeks of contributions, including at least 50 weeks of contributions for each year of coverage.

Partial pension: A reduced pension is paid for each year of coverage for individuals with 25 to 49 weeks of contributions.

The disability pension is payable abroad.

Survivor pension: The deceased received or was eligible to receive a pension. The widow(er) was married to the deceased for at least 3 years.

Partial pension: A reduced pension is paid for each year of coverage for individuals with 25 to 49 weeks of contributions.

Eligible survivors are the widow(er) and orphans.

The survivor pension ceases if the spouse remarries or cohabits.

The survivor pension is payable abroad.

Survivor settlement: The deceased did not satisfy the qualifying conditions for a survivor pension.

Eligible survivors are the widow(er) and orphans.

Mandatory occupational pension

Old-age pension: Age 65.

Disability pension: The insured must be assessed with an incapacity for work due to a physical or mental condition.

Survivor pension: The beneficiary is named by the deceased.

Social assistance

Noncontributory old-age pension: Age 65, is not eligible for contributory old-age benefits, and is a citizen with at least 10 years of continuous residency in Bermuda in the 20 years immediately before the application.

Noncontributory disability pension: Aged 18 to 64, is not eligible for contributory disability benefits, is assessed with a permanent incapacity for work, and has at least 10 years of residency in Bermuda immediately before the application.

Appointed medical doctors assess the degree of disability.

Old-Age Benefits

Social insurance

Old-age pension: B$219.53 a week (B$951.73 a month) is paid plus B$1.29 for each 26-week period of contributions exceeding 484 weeks.

Partial pension: The minimum monthly partial pension is B$475.87 if the annual average number of weeks of contributions is between 25 and 29; B$571.04 for 30 to 34 weeks; B$666.21 for 35 to 39 weeks, B$761.38 for 40 to 44 weeks; or B$856.56 for 45 to 49 weeks.

Old-age settlement: The total employer and employee contributions are refunded as a lump sum.

Mandatory occupational pension

Old-age pension: Pensions calculations are based on average earnings or the amount of the insured's accumulated capital.

Social assistance

Noncontributory old-age pension: The monthly pension is B$436.76. If annual income is less than B$4,000, the minimum monthly pension is B$449.22.

Permanent Disability Benefits

Social insurance

Disability pension: The monthly pension is B$634.41.

Partial pension: A percentage of the full pension is paid according to the number of average annual weeks of contributions between 25 and 49.

Mandatory occupational pension

Disability pension: The value of the benefit depends on the rules for the specific occupational pension scheme.

Social assistance

Noncontributory disability pension: The monthly pension is B$436.76.

Survivor Benefits

Social insurance

Survivor pension: The basic monthly pension is B$951.73.

Partial pension: B$475.87 a month is paid if the deceased's annual average number of weeks of contributions was between 25 and 29; B$571.04 for 30 to 34 weeks; B$666.21 for 35 to 39 weeks; B$761.38 for 40 to 44 weeks; or B$856.56 for 45 to 49 weeks.

The survivor pension is paid for 26 weeks or until dependent children reach age 16; for life if the surviving spouse is older than age 50 or disabled.

For her own pension calculation purposes, a widow who receives a survivor pension is credited for every week she receives the pension and may substitute up to a year of her deceased husband's contribution record for her own.

Orphan's pension: Each orphan receives B$94.96 a month until old enough to leave school.

Survivor settlement: The total employer and employee contributions are refunded as a lump sum.

Mandatory occupational pension

Survivor benefit: The benefit is paid as a lump sum based on the value of the deceased's contributions, accumulated capital, or accrued benefits.

A lump-sum benefit is also paid to the survivor if the deceased had less than 2 years of membership in an occupational pension scheme at the time of death.

Administrative Organization

Social insurance and social assistance

Ministry of Finance provides general supervision.

Department of Social Insurance (http://www.socialinsurance.gov.bm) administers the program.

Mandatory occupational pension

Pension Commission (http://www.pensioncommission.bm) supervises and regulates the program.

Sickness and Maternity

Regulatory Framework

First and current laws: 1970 (hospital insurance), with amendments; and 2004 (health council), implemented in 2006.

Type of program: Compulsory insurance with a public or private carrier or an approved employer-operated plan (employed persons). Individual or voluntary insurance (nonemployed persons). Medical benefits only.

Note: Under the 2000 Employment Act, employers are required to provide paid sick leave and paid and unpaid maternity leave.

Coverage

Health Insurance Plan: Residents of Bermuda younger than age 65.

Employers are liable for carrying insurance for employees and employees' nonemployed spouses.

Future Care: Residents of Bermuda aged 65 or older who were previously enrolled in the Health Insurance Plan, who were aged 65 on or after January 1, 2009, or who receive financial assistance.

Source of Funds

Insured person

Health Insurance Plan: B$120.57 a month each for an employee and his or her nonemployed spouse. (Other insured persons contribute B$241.15 a month.)

Future Care: B$260 a month; B$773 a month for persons who do not satisfy residency requirements.

Self-employed person

Health Insurance Plan: B$241.15 a month on an individual or voluntary basis.

Future Care: Not applicable.

Employer

Health Insurance Plan: B$120.57 a month each for an employee and his or her nonemployed spouse.

Future Care: Not applicable.

Government:

Health Insurance Plan: A government grant finances the total cost for resident children younger than age 16 (age 21 if a student) and needy persons.

Future Care: A government grant finances 80% of the cost of medical care for residents aged 65 to 69 and 90% for residents aged 70 or older.

Qualifying Conditions

Cash sickness and maternity benefits: No statutory benefits are provided.

Under the 2000 Employment Act, employers are required to provide paid sick leave and paid and unpaid maternity leave.

Medical benefits: There is no minimum qualifying period, except for a 10-month waiting period for maternity care benefits.

Sickness and Maternity Benefits

Sickness benefit: No statutory benefits are provided.

The 2000 Employment Act provides for 8 days of paid sick leave a year to employees who have worked for the same employer for at least a year.

Maternity benefit: No statutory benefits are provided.

The 2000 Employment Act provides for 8 weeks of paid maternity leave and 4 weeks of unpaid maternity leave to employees who have worked for the same employer for at least a year; 8 weeks unpaid maternity leave for employees with less than a year.

Workers' Medical Benefits

Medical benefits:

Health Insurance Plan: Benefits include inpatient and outpatient services; nursing, diagnostic, laboratory, ambulance, specialist, and doctor services; surgery; appliances; medicine; and basic dental care.

Future Care: Benefits include inpatient and outpatient services; nursing, preventative, diagnostic, laboratory, ambulance, specialist, and doctor services; surgery; appliances; medicine; dental and vision care; and long-term nursing services at home.

Dependents' Medical Benefits

Medical benefits for dependents:

Health Insurance Plan: Benefits include inpatient and outpatient services; nursing, diagnostic, laboratory, ambulance, specialist, and doctor services; surgery; appliances; medicine; and basic dental care.

Administrative Organization

Ministry of Health provides general supervision.

Health Insurance Department (http://www.hip.gov.bm) administers the program.

Work Injury

Regulatory Framework

First and current law: 1965 (workmen's compensation).

Type of program: Employer-liability system. (The government may require employers to carry insurance.)

Coverage

Employed persons and apprentices aged 18 or older.

Exclusions: Self-employed persons, casual labor, part-time workers, temporary employees, students, and voluntary workers.

Source of Funds

Insured person: None.

Self-employed person: Not applicable.

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

Government: None.

Qualifying Conditions

Work injury benefits: There is no minimum qualifying period, but the work injury must last more than 3 days.

Temporary Disability Benefits

The benefit is 50% of lost earnings (up to B$170 a week) or a lump sum. The total benefit paid must not exceed the permanent disability benefit for which the insured would be eligible.

Permanent Disability Benefits

Permanent disability benefit: For a total disability, the full benefit is 4 years of earnings.

The minimum benefit is B$5,000.

The maximum benefit is B$53,000.

Constant-attendance supplement: 25% of the permanent disability benefit is paid if the insured requires the constant attendance of others to perform daily functions.

Partial disability: A percentage of the full disability benefit is paid according to the assessed loss of earning capacity.

Appointed medical doctors assess the degree of disability.

Workers' Medical Benefits

Benefits include the cost of necessary medical care, including hospitalization (up to a maximum based on the prevailing public ward charge for 56 days); emergency outpatient treatment; surgery, according to a fee schedule; medical expenses, including the cost of nursing, ambulances, and medicine, up to B$1,000; the cost of prostheses up to B$2,000; and the cost of transportation up to B$250.

Survivor Benefits

Survivor benefit: A lump sum is paid of 3 years of earnings or B$42,000 (whichever is less) minus the value of any permanent disability benefits received by the deceased.

Eligible survivors are dependents who were totally dependent on the deceased's earnings.

Partial survivor grant: A grant is paid to those who were partially dependent on the deceased's earnings.

Funeral grant and medical expenses: Up to B$2,000 is paid if there are no dependents.

Administrative Organization

Ministry of Labor, Home Affairs, and Public Safety provides general supervision.

Supreme Court administers lump sums.

Courts supervise the agreement between an employer and the insured on the amounts payable.