Social Insurance Cover Rises in Q1
EghtesadOnline: Iran's Social Security Organization covered 37.05 million people in the first quarter of the current Iranian year that started in March, posting 3.1% growth on the same period last year.
The Statistical Center of Iran said the primary insured accounted for 39% of the total. Dependents, such as spouse, parents and children of the primary insured accounted for the remaining 61%.
An estimated 471,000 new applicants were added to the SSO list during the three months that largely (91%) included the primary insured.
The SSO is the biggest insurance company in Iran offering insurance to private sector workers along with voluntary cover to the self-employed. It pays billions in pension every month.
SCI data shows that from the total 14.6 million primary insured people, 11.7 million were men.
Mandatory social insurance accounted for the largest segment of the primary insured population. As per law, all wage-earners employed by officially registered business must have social insurance
Data also showed that about 495,000 people were covered by unemployment insurance in the first quarter of the current fiscal year.
The SSO covered 7.3 million pensioners during the first quarter, marking a growth of 1.3% compared to the previous quarter and 3.6% on the same period a year ago.
The top insurer is financed by contributions of insured workers (7%), employer (20–23%) and government (3%). Social protection is also extended to the self-employed who voluntarily contribute 12-18% of their income depending on the degree of their cover.
The SSO owns several major industries and companies and over the years has emerged as an economic conglomerate with immense power and influence. It once was the richest and most powerful organization in Iran.
The rising number of retirees and shrinking revenue from its own investments are making a bad situation worse for the giant organization on which a large segment of the society depends for a living.
In recent years the SSO has been forced to sell some of its assets to remain afloat and pay the army of retirees whose numbers are fast growing.
In April 2020, the SSO sold 10% of its stakes in the Social Security Investment Company, its own investment arm known as Shasta, in an initial public offering.
The organization was hit particularly hard by the coronavirus pandemic because on the one hand a majority of its members work in virus-hit industrial enterprises, services and guilds, and on the other it also has to reimburse hospitals and healthcare providers for treatment costs.