Insurance, Pensions for Nomads, Farmers

Insurance, Pensions for Nomads, FarmersInsurance, Pensions for Nomads, Farmers

All workers and inhabitants of cities with a population of less than 20,000 should be covered by the Agricultural, Rural and Nomadic Insurance Fund, as per the law.

There are 400 cities in the country with less than 20,000 inhabitants each and the process of insuring the people started last month, said Mohammadreza Rostami, head of the fund.

There are three other pension funds including that of the Social Security Organization, the Civil Servants Pension Organization (CSPO) and the Steel Pension Fund. All are affiliated to the Ministry of Cooperatives, Labor and Welfare, reports ISNA.

Nearly 1.35 million people are currently under coverage of the nomadic fund which was established in 2005. Unlike the SSO where the employer is in charge of employees’ insurance, at the Agricultural, Rural and Nomadic Insurance Fund, the constituents are agriculturists, rural habitants and nomads who become members voluntarily and by personal choice.

The insurance coverage is for eight income groups who earn in the range $60-$181 per month.

Premium is calculated based on the earnings. While 15% of income is deducted as premium, 5% is paid by the employee and the remaining 10% by the government.

Those 65 years of age with 15 years of contribution at the fund will receive pension after official retirement. Since the fund was established 10 years ago, nobody is eligible yet for pension.

The fund will also provide insurance against accidents at the workplace. If an employee dies in a work-related mishap, dependents will receive pension benefits regardless of the premium paid. However if the death is not by work-related accident, dependents are entitled to pension benefits only if the deceased has paid a minimum of 90 days of the premium within a year prior to the accident.

“Currently the fund provides coverage to 30,000 employees for accidental death, dismemberment or injuries,” Rostami added.

More contribution for the fund is from developed, modern and industrial provinces rather than the less developed cities. East Azarbaijan Province has the most number of insured employees at the fund while Hormozgan and Sistan-Baluchestan are the least.

Workers of the State Welfare Organization (SWO) and the Imam Khomeini Relief Committee (IKRC) are major constituents of the SSO fund. There are 140,000 IKRC and 50,000 SWO workers currently under the fund’s insurance coverage and 5% premium is paid by the IKRF and SWO, he said.

He pointed to 2.65 million households in the country not covered by any form of insurance. Parliament should ensure compulsory insurance coverage of all citizens. In addition, necessary regulations are needed vis-à-vis female-headed households.