All pensions can be divided only into two large groups - labor and social. Labor pensions are provided to those who have the necessary insurance and/or general experience. Social pensions are for those who do not have the necessary experience. Therefore, in order to understand the difference, it is important to first understand the concepts of pension insurance and general records.
Pension insurance record is the period during which a person makes mandatory insurance contributions to the Social Protection Fund of Belarus. Such contributions are made by all employees: 1% is deducted directly from employee's salary and 34% are additionally transferred by employer. In total, on behalf of everyone who works for hire, 35% of the accrued wages are paid monthly to the Social Security Fund. Individual entrepreneurs also make contributions to the Social Security Fund, they have the right to determine their amount on their own, but in any case it should be no less than 35% of the minimum wage established in Belarus in the reporting year.
Some categories of citizens, for example, the self-employed, do not have the obligation to make contributions to the Social Security Fund, but they are not prohibited from doing so. Thus, they decide whether to save a certain amount of money today or make a contribution and thereby accumulate an insurance record for themselves. In addition to insurance, there is a concept of general (work) experience. It includes the insurance record (that is, the period during which a person made contributions to the Social Security Fund) plus periods when a person, for objective reasons, could not make such contributions. For example, studying at a university, serving in the army, maternity leave. Let's say a woman worked for 15 years, spent 6 years on maternity leave, and before that - 5 years of higher education at the university. This means that her insurance record will be 15 years, and the total (or, in other words, labor) - 26 years. Depending on how many years of insurance and general record a person has accumulated, he is assigned a labor or social pension. In fact, there is a very big difference between these two types of pensions; labor pensions are significantly higher.
Old-age retirement pension
Such pension is assigned to men who have reached the age of 63 and women at the age of 58. The total length of service (including army, maternal leave, post-secondary education) must be at least 25 years for men and 20 years for women, and the pension insurance record (during which a person was making contributions to the Social Security Fund) - at least 18.5 years as of 2022. By 2025, the required insurance record will be raised to 20 years; as part of the reform carried out several years ago, it increases by 6 months every year. If all three conditions are met (reaching a certain age, having the necessary general experience, having the necessary insurance record), a person will be able to receive old-age pension, the amount of which depends on the amount of contributions made to the Social Security Fund, or, more simply, on earnings in the past.
Social pensions in Belarus
For those who, due to old age, illness or other circumstances, cannot provide for themselves and do not have the necessary work and insurance record, social pensions are provided. Unlike labor pensions, the size of such pensions does not depend on the level of wages in the past, but is set based on the size of the subsistence minimum budget. The types of pensions here are the same as in the group of labor pensions: by age, by disability, by loss of a breadwinner, etc. The difference will be only in the amounts paid. For example, if person has not accumulated the required length of service by the time they reach retirement age, their old-age pension will be 50% of the largest subsistence level budget per capita on average for the last two quarters.
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