EghtesadOnline: Iran’s Social Security Organization does not abide by the law and it has caused numerous problems for different businesses, said representatives of the private sector in the 19th session of Tehran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture’s Business Facilitation Committee on Tuesday.
Criticizing SSO’s extensive interventions in businesses, Alireza Mirbolouk, a board member at Tehran Industries, Mines and Trade House, pointed out that what the organization is doing now reaches far beyond its original mission, which was to make certain employers pay their employees’ insurance fees.
“Any attempt at rectifying the organization’s policies fails, even if petitions are brought before the parliament as the organization has strong lobbyists among lawmakers,” said another member of the Committee, Fereydoun Talaeizadeh, who is the tax advisor to the president of TCCIM.
According to Daryoush Mohajer, secretary-general of Iran Confederation of Industries, the government should give up the ownership of the organization and the Supreme Council for Social Security should be revived to fix its deep-rooted problems, Financial Tribune reported.
“TCCIM’s Business Facilitation Committee should cooperate with the parliament to prevent further unlawful acts,” he said.
There are 24 pension funds in Iran, which are divided into public pension funds (Social Security Organization, the Armed Forces Pension Fund, the Civil Servants Pension Fund and Rural and Nomadic Insurance Fund) and exclusive funds (pension funds for the employees of the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting, Oil Ministry, banks, Central Insurance of Iran and municipalities).
SSO has more than 13 million insured people who account for 73% of the total number of members of the 24 funds. Its fund has more than 3 million pensioners; the ratio of its insured workers to its pensioners is 4.25.
The country’s other major fund, CSP, has more than one million insured people while the number of its pensioners exceeds 1.2 million, suggesting that pensioners outnumber the employed insured population.
SSO’s support ratio is now four and that of CSP is below one, according to a former SSO official for legal and parliamentary affairs, Mohsen Izadkhah.
“Alarm is raised when the ratio reaches six. A fund cannot practically stand on its own feet and has to seek help from the government or sell its assets when the ratio goes below five,” he said.
Managing Director of Social Security Organization’s investment arm, Morteza Lotfi, said the government is over 1 quadrillion rials ($22.8 billion) in debt to the Social Security Organization.