The social security system in Antigua and Barbuda is regulated by the following laws: (i) law on social insurance of 1972, (ii) law on old age of 1973 as amended in 2005, (iii) law on disability of 1977 and (iv) law on social assistance of 1993. In combination, these laws provide for a social insurance and social assistance system.
The social insurance system covers all employed and self-employed persons aged 16 to 59. A married woman working for her husband; certain family members working for a family business; casual workers with weekly earnings less than EC$7.50 (approximately USD 3) and who have worked for less than 8 weeks; and employed persons with any earnings based on commissions, fees, or profit sharing are excluded from the system.
The social assistance covers persons aged 65 or older in 1993, those aged 60 or older and blind with annual income from all sources of less than EC$5,000 (approximately USD 1900).
The funds for the social insurance are contributed by both the insured person and the employer in the following proportions: (i) Insured person: 3% of covered monthly earnings in case of workers in the private sector or 2% of covered monthly earnings in case of workers in the public sector; and (ii) Employer: 5% of covered monthly payroll. The minimum weekly earnings for contribution calculation purposes are EC$7.50 (approximately USD 3); EC$32.50 (approximately USD 12) a month and the maximum annual earnings for contribution calculation purposes are EC$54,000 (approximately USD 20,000).
In case of self-employed persons, the contribution to the social insurance amounts to 8% of its covered monthly earnings. The minimum monthly earnings for contribution calculation purposes are EC$450 (approximately USD 170) and the maximum annual earnings for contribution calculation purposes are EC$54,000 (approximately USD 20,000).
The social assistance programme is financed entirely by the Government.
The old-age pension is available at age 60 with at least 500 weeks of contributions for a full pension. A partial pension is available at age 60 with 350 to 499 weeks of contributions. A transitional pension is available at age 60 with at least 156 weeks of contributions starting before 1975.
An old-age settlement is available for people aged 60 or older that do not satisfy the qualifying conditions for the old-age pension, but have at least 26 weeks of paid contributions starting before 1975 or at least 52 weeks of contributions starting after 1974.
Old-age benefits are payable abroad.
An old-age assistance is available at age 77 or older; or at age 60 or older if blind or disabled.
The old-age pension (full pension) is 25% of the person’s average earnings plus 1% for each 50-week period of contributions exceeding 500 weeks of contributions, up to 50%. Average earnings are based on the best 5 years of earnings in the last 10 years of work. If the number of years worked is less than 5 years, the average is based on total earnings.
In case of partial pension, a percentage of the full pension is paid according to the number of weeks of contributions. In case of transitional pension, the benefit is 25% of average earnings in the best 5 years of the last 10 years of work.
The minimum monthly pension is EC$350 (approximately USD 130). The maximum monthly pension is EC$2,250 (approximately USD 830).
The old-age settlement consists of a lump sum of EC$1,200 (approximately USD 440) or 75% of the combined employer and employee contributions is paid (whichever is greater).
All benefits are adjusted according to actuarial reviews, subject to economic conditions.
The old-age assistance consists of a sum of EC$255 (approximately USD 95) to be paid on a monthly basis.
The system is administered by the Ministry of Finance, that provides general supervision, and the Antigua and Barbuda Social Security Board (http://www.socialsecurity.gov.ag), that administers the program.
Source:Social Security Programs Throughout the World: Asia and the Pacific, 2010, available at http://www.ssa.gov/policy/docs/progdesc/ssptw/2010-2011/asia/index.html