Social Security Programs Throughout the World: The Americas, 2009

 

British Virgin Islands

Exchange rate: Currency is the US dollar (US$).

Old Age, Disability, and Survivors

Regulatory Framework

First law: 1979 (social security).

Current law: 1980 (social security).

Type of program: Social insurance system.

Coverage

All employed and self-employed persons aged 16 to 65.

Voluntary coverage is possible.

Source of Funds

Insured person: 3.25% of covered monthly earnings; 7% of monthly earnings for voluntary contributors.

The maximum annual earnings for contribution calculation purposes are $33,800 ($35,490 from January 2010).

Self-employed person: 8.5% of declared monthly earnings.

The maximum annual earnings for contribution calculation purposes are $33,800 ($35,490 from January 2010).

Employer: 3.25% of covered monthly payroll.

The maximum annual earnings for contribution calculation purposes are $33,800 ($35,490 from January 2010).

Government: None; contributes as an employer.

Qualifying Conditions

Old-age pension: Age 65 with at least 500 weeks of contributions.

Old-age grant: Age 65 with at least 50 weeks of contributions and ineligible for any periodic benefit.

Old-age benefits are payable abroad.

Disability pension: Younger than age 65 with at least 250 weeks of contributions and assessed with a permanent incapacity for any work.

The degree of disability is assessed every 6 months by a medical doctor.

Disability grant: Younger than age 65 with at least 50 weeks of contributions, assessed with a permanent incapacity for any work, and ineligible for any periodic benefit.

Disability benefits are payable abroad.

Survivor pension: The deceased was a pensioner or was entitled to a pension at the time of death.

Eligible survivors are widow(er)s aged 40 or older or caring for a dependent child younger than age 15 (age 21 if a student) and orphans younger than age 15 (age 21 if a student).

Survivor benefits are payable abroad.

Survivor grant: Paid if the deceased was not eligible for a pension but had at least 50 weeks of contributions.

Funeral grant: Paid for the death of insured persons or their dependents. The insured must have at least 26 weeks of paid contributions.

Old-Age Benefits

Old-age pension: The pension is 30% of average covered earnings plus 1% of average covered earnings for every 50-week period of contributions exceeding 500 weeks.

Average covered earnings are based on the sum of earnings in the best 7 years of contributions in the last 15 years or less before retirement divided by seven. (In 2010, the calculations will be based on the best 8 years; in 2011, 9 years; and in 2012, 10 years.)

The maximum annual earnings for benefit calculation purposes are $33,800 ($35,490 from January 2010).

The minimum old-age pension is $260.

The maximum old-age pension is 60% of the insured's average annual covered earnings.

Retirement from gainful employment is not necessary.

Old-age grant: A lump sum of six times average weekly earnings is paid for every 50-week period of contributions above 50 weeks and below 500 weeks.

Retirement from gainful employment is not necessary.

Permanent Disability Benefits

Disability pension: The pension is 30% of average covered earnings plus 1% of average covered earnings for every 50-week period of contributions exceeding 500 weeks.

Average covered earnings are based on the sum of earnings in the best 7 years of contributions in the last 15 years or less before the disability began divided by seven. (In 2010, the calculations will be based on the best 8 years; in 2011, 9 years; and in 2012, 10 years.)

The maximum annual earnings for benefit calculation purposes are $33,800 ($35,490 from January 2010).

The minimum disability pension is $260.

The maximum disability pension is 60% of the insured's average annual covered earnings.

The disability pension is replaced by the old-age pension at age 65.

The insured may receive the disability pension and the survivor pension. The total amount received is calculated based on 100% of the disability pension plus 50% of the survivor pension, up to 100% of the insured's insurable earnings.

Disability grant: A lump sum of six times average weekly earnings is paid for every 50-week period of contributions above 50 weeks and below 500 weeks.

Survivor Benefits

Survivor pension: The widow(er)'s pension is 66.7% of the old-age pension the deceased received or was entitled to receive.

Orphan's pension: The pension is 33.3% of the widow(er)'s pension; 66.7% for full orphans.

Survivor grant: The widow(er)'s grant is 66.7% of the old-age grant the deceased received or was entitled to receive.

Orphan's grant: The grant is 33.3% of the widow(er)'s grant; 66.7% for full orphans.

Funeral grant: The grant depends on the age of the person at death. For a child younger than age 1, $450 is paid; for a child aged 1 to 15, $1,950; for persons aged 16 or older, $3,000. The grant is paid to the person who pays for the funeral.

Administrative Organization

A tripartite board of directors appointed by the Minister Responsible for Social Security manages the Social Security Board.

Social Security Board (http://www.bvissb.vg) administers the program.

Sickness and Maternity

Regulatory Framework

First law: 1979 (social security).

Current law: 1980 (social security).

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

Coverage

All employed and self-employed persons aged 16 to 65.

Source of Funds

Insured person: 0.75% of covered monthly earnings.

The maximum weekly and monthly earnings for contribution calculation purposes are $650 and $2,817, respectively.

Self-employed person: 1.5% of declared monthly earnings.

The maximum weekly and monthly earnings for contribution calculation purposes are $650 and $2,817, respectively.

Employer: 0.75% of covered monthly payroll.

The maximum weekly and monthly earnings for contribution calculation purposes are $650 and $2,817, respectively.

Government: None; contributes as an employer.

Qualifying Conditions

Cash sickness benefits: The insured must have at least 26 weeks of contributions, including at least 8 weeks of contributions in the 13 weeks before the incapacity began.

Cash maternity benefits: The insured must have at least 26 weeks of contributions, including at least 20 weeks of contributions in the 39 weeks before the expected date of childbirth.

Maternity grant: The insured must have at least 26 weeks of contributions. The grant is paid to the mother or her husband or cohabiting partner. A cohabiting partner must have lived with the mother for at least 2 years. Each eligible parent receives a full maternity grant.

Sickness and Maternity Benefits

Sickness benefit: The benefit is 66.7% of average weekly covered earnings and is paid after a 3-day waiting period for up to 26 weeks.

Average weekly covered earnings are based on covered earnings in the 13 weeks before the incapacity began.

There is no minimum weekly sickness benefit.

The maximum weekly sickness benefit is $433 ($455 in 2010).

Maternity benefit: The benefit is 66.7% of average weekly covered earnings in the 39 weeks before the expected date of childbirth. The benefit is paid for up to 13 weeks, beginning no earlier than 6 weeks before the expected date of childbirth.

Average weekly covered earnings are based on covered earnings in the 39 weeks before the expected date of childbirth.

There is no minimum weekly maternity benefit.

The maximum weekly maternity benefit is $433 ($455 in 2010).

Maternity grant: A lump sum of $300 is paid for each eligible insured parent per child.

Workers' Medical Benefits

No statutory benefits are provided.

Dependents' Medical Benefits

No statutory benefits are provided.

Administrative Organization

A tripartite board of directors appointed by the Minister Responsible for Social Security manages the Social Security Board.

Social Security Board (http://www.bvissb.vg) administers the program.

Work Injury

Regulatory Framework

First and current law: 1994 (employment injury).

Type of program: Social insurance system.

Coverage

All employed and self-employed persons from age 16.

Source of Funds

Insured person: None.

Self-employed person: 0.5% of declared monthly earnings.

The maximum annual earnings for contribution calculation purposes are $33,800 ($35,490 from January 2010).

Employer: 0.5% of covered monthly payroll (including on behalf of employees aged 65 or older).

The maximum annual earnings for contribution calculation purposes are $33,800 ($35,490 from January 2010).

Government: None; contributes as an employer.

Qualifying Conditions

Work injury benefits: There is no minimum qualifying period for a work injury or an occupational disease.

Temporary Disability Benefits

The benefit is 75% of average weekly covered earnings and is paid for up to 26 weeks.

The maximum weekly temporary disability benefit is $488 ($512 in 2010).

Permanent Disability Benefits

Permanent disability benefit: For a total disability (100%), the benefit is 75% of average weekly covered earnings and is paid for up to 26 weeks.

The maximum weekly permanent disability benefit is $488 ($512 in 2010).

Partial disability: For an assessed degree of disability of 30% to 99%, a percentage of the full pension is paid according to the assessed degree of disability.

The degree of disability is assessed every 6 months by a medical doctor.

A lump sum is paid for an assessed degree of disability of less than 30%.

Workers' Medical Benefits

Benefits include medical, surgical, dental, and hospital treatment; skilled nursing services; medicine; prostheses (including maintenance and repair); and the cost of transportation to and from medical services.

Survivor Benefits

Survivor pension: The maximum survivor pension is 75% of the pension the deceased received or would have been entitled to received. The surviving spouse receives 50% of this amount.

Eligible survivors are married or unmarried spouses who lived with the deceased for at least 3 years.

The pension ceases if the surviving spouse remarries or cohabits.

Orphan's pension: Each orphan younger than age 15 (age 21 if a student, no limit if disabled) receives 16.7% of the maximum survivor pension.

Other eligible survivors: Up to 50% of the maximum survivor pension is split equally among other dependent survivors.

Funeral grant: A lump sum of $3,000 is paid to the person who paid for the funeral.

Administrative Organization

A tripartite board of directors appointed by the Minister Responsible for Social Security manages the Social Security Board.

Social Security Board (http://www.bvissb.vg) administers the program.