Social Security in Cuba, a citizen's right

The budget for social protection in the island will double in 2030

Cuba has about two million people over 60 years of age, it is one of the countries with greater population aged in the region.

In Cuba, about 2 million people are already over 60 years old. Data from the latest Population and Housing Census predict that by 2025 our population will be the oldest in Latin America.

Population aging is a result of an increase in life expectancy at birth and a decrease in the overall fertility rate, which in the case of Cuba, when compared to developed countries, shows a significant achievement in the social order. However, it involves challenges in the demographic, economic and social order.

It is expected that, in 2021, for example, there will be an imbalance between the number of people who retire and those who must be incorporated into active working life. In order to deal with this demographic situation, a set of measures has been adopted and applied gradually.

Social Security in Cuba

Since the triumph of the Revolution, the State guarantees protection to all citizens through the Social Security System. This includes a general regime, special regimes and a Social Assistance scheme.

According to Granma International, Haydee Franco Leal, deputy director general of the National Institute of Social Security (INSS), "this last regime protects the elderly without resources or protection. In addition, all those people who are not fit to work, have insufficient income to meet the most urgent needs and have no relatives in a position to help. In these situations, the State intervenes with benefits that may be monetary, in services or species.

"The general regime is aimed at protecting workers in cases of illness or accident of common or professional origin, maternity, invalidity, old age and death, and their families," adds Haydee Franco.

SPECIAL REGIMES

Special schemes protect people who carry out activities whose nature, or the nature of their production processes or services, require that Social Security be adapted to its specific conditions.

"In Cuba, these special regimes have been extended from the updating of the economic and social model. Today, some belong to the state sector, including those that protect the military of the Revolutionary Armed Forces and the combatants of the Ministry of Interior. Others in the non-state sector include self-employed workers, land usufructuaries, members of agricultural production cooperatives, non-farming cooperatives and the regime of artists and creators ", explains the Deputy Director General of the National Institute of Social Security.

It was at the end of 2008, and in view of the demographic dynamics of the Cuban population, that Law No. 24 of Social Security, which has been in force in the country since 1980, was modified.

The measure was imperative, due to the decrease in the number of people at working age and a growing impact on the availability of human resources. For this reason, Law No. 105 of Social Security was approved, which came into force in 2009.

NEWS OF THE LAW 105

This law increased in five years, the age and the time of services of the workers to access the pension by age. In the case of women, they now retire at age 60, and men at age 65. In both cases, they must provide 30 years of service.

Adopting these measures increased the number of people in employment and postponed the problem of the decline in the workforce, which would affect the country in 2015.

At the same time it stimulated the permanence in the employment of the people when extending the period of selection for the calculation of the pensions.

"Of the last 15 years of work, five of the best salaries are selected to determine the basis of calculation of pensions. In the first 30 years of service 60 % is applied and from there, an increase of 2 % is applied to each year that exceeds those 30 until reaching 90 %, which is the maximum limit that can receive a worker by concept Of pension in the country, "explains Haydee Franco.

Another of the changes that are generated by Law No.105, are related to the total disability pension. Unlike the old law, today the Cuban worker who suffers an accident or is incapacitated, regardless of time worked, should only be linked to receive this labor.

"Similarly, a person who retires, has the right to rejoin to work and simultaneously wage and pension, with similar rights to the rest of the workers," he explains.

"Another novelty we can find is related to the protection of the widower. Formerly only widows were protected. Now this benefit is also extended to men, so that any person over 65 or incapacitated who depended on the spouse who died, is entitled to a pension and can simultaneously with the age accrued, "says the deputy director general of the INSS .

There are also changes in the case of orphans. If the situation includes both parents, the pensions are maintained until the child finishes his studies. If it is the case of a single parent, prior to an analysis of the family nucleus, the pension can be approved and maintained until the young person finishes his studies.

BENEFITS OF SOCIAL SECURITY

For Cuba the demographic dynamics is a great challenge today. The tendency is for the number of people to be active and those over 60, a situation that implies more social expenses and less hands to produce material and spiritual wealth.

The budget for social security now amounts to 6 billion pesos and, according to what is projected for 2030, this number will double. The State will spend more money for Social Security expenses in order to guarantee the protection of its citizens.

The measures that are developed to meet the demographic dynamics of the Cuban population have three fundamental objectives:

"The first has to do with stimulating fertility and achieving an approach to population replacement in a mediate perspective. The second is to meet the needs of the growing population of 60 and over, as well as to encourage their participation in the economic, political and social life of the country. And the third seeks to stimulate the majority employment of all people fit to work, "adds the INSS official.

Today we must think of population aging as an achievement of Cuban society and bet on increasing efficiency and productivity to move towards a better society.

Source: Granma
Available at: http://www.granma.cu/cuba/2017-07-22/la-seguridad-social-en-cuba-un-derecho-ciudadano-22-07-2017-10-07-58