The social security in Brunei is regulated by the following laws: (i) old-age and disability pensions of 1955 as amended in 1984; (ii) employees' trust fund of 1992; and supplementary pension scheme of 2009, implemented in 2010. The system consist of a provident fund, supplementary defined contribution scheme, and universal old-age and disability pension system.
The system covers employees up to age 60 who are citizens or permanent residents of Brunei, including government civil servants who began service on or after January 1, 1993. Civil servants who began service before January 1, 1993, are covered by the government pension scheme. Voluntary coverage is available for persons aged 60 or older and self-employed persons.There are special systems for armed forces personnel, police force personnel, and prison wardens.
Further, a supplementary pension is available for public- and private-sector employees aged 18 to 59 who are citizens or permanent residents of Brunei. For self-employed persons voluntary coverage is possible.
Funds are contributed by both the insured person and its employer in the following proportions: (i) Insured person: 5% of monthly earnings that exceed B$80 (approximately USD 65); and (ii) Employer: 5% of monthly payroll (3% for the insured's account and 0.5% for survivor benefits). Additional voluntary contributions are permitted. There are no maximum earnings used to calculate contributions.
For the supplementary pension, funds are contributed as follows: (i) Insured person: 3.5% of monthly earnings (3% for the insured's account and 0.5% for survivor benefits). Additional voluntary contributions are permitted; and (ii) Employer: 3.5% of monthly payroll. The minimum earnings used to calculate contributions is B$500 (approximately USD 400), and the maximum earnings used to calculate contributions is B$2,800 (approximately USD 220).
In the case of self-employed persons the contributions are voluntary. There are no minimum or maximum declared earnings used to calculate contributions. For the supplementary pension, the contribution is B$17.50 (approximately USD 14) a month.
The funds are available to the insured persons at age 50. Retirement is not necessary. Early withdrawal is possible at age 50.Fund members with at least B$ 40,000 (approximately USD 31,600) in their individual account or who have been provident fund members for at least 10 years may draw down funds from their account to build or purchase a house for personal residence. A lump sum is paid to members at any age if emigrating permanently from the country.
The supplementary pension is payable at age 60 provided that the insured person has at least 35 years of continuous contributions. Insured persons who do not meet the contribution requirements at retirement age may receive a lump-sum benefit. The pension may not be drawn down before retirement.
A universal old-age pension is available for every resident of Brunei aged 60. Persons born in Brunei must have at least 10 years of residence immediately before claiming the pension; persons born outside Brunei must have lived in Brunei for at least 30 years immediately before claiming the pension.
The old-age benefit consist of a lump sum amounting to the total contributions made by the employee and the employer plus interest. The interest rate adjustment is set by the government annually according to the financial health of the fund, interest rates on savings accounts, and inflation rates.
In case of early withdrawal, fund members may draw down 25% of accumulated assets. The fund member may draw down up to 45% of accumulated assets in the individual account only once before age 55.
The supplementary pension amounts to at least B$150 (approximately USD 120) a month, payable for up to 20 years. If the insured did not meet the supplementary pension contribution requirements at retirement age, a lump-sum of the supplementary scheme account balance is paid.
The universal old-age pension is of B$250 (approximately USD 200) a month is paid.
The pension is adjusted on an ad hoc basis.
The system is managed and supervised by (i) the Employees' Trust Fund Department of the Ministry of Finance, under the supervision of the Employees' Trust Fund Board, administers the contributions and benefits and the investment of funds for the provident fund; (ii) the Ministry of Finance administers the supplementary pension; and (iii) the Department of Community Development of the Ministry of Culture, Youth, and Sports administers the universal benefit 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