In Kazakhstan, healthcare is the number one benefit people care about. Governmental healthcare is insufficient and the cost of private medical clinics is very high. However, many employers are surprised by the fact that employees’ expectations relating to health insurance are very high, in fact, too high. This is due to a lack of understanding of insurances in general. When asked to rank four other common benefits in order of importance, the average Kazakh employee will respond with death, disability, personal accident, and retirement.
The average monthly cost for a typical benefits package is $US 190 per month.
Mandatory employee benefits in Kazakhstan include pension, PTO and employment insurance. Supplementary employee benefits include medical insurance, virtual care and voluntary benefits.
Mandatory Employee Benefits in Kazakhstan
Citizens of the Republic of Kazakhstan, foreigners, and stateless persons permanently residing in the territory of the Republic of Kazakhstan, have the right to pension payments, unless otherwise provided by laws and international treaties.
In accordance with Article 28 of the Constitution of the Republic of Kazakhstan, a citizen of the Republic of Kazakhstan is guaranteed a minimum wage and pension, social security by age, in case of illness, disability, loss of breadwinner and other legal grounds.
Currently, Kazakhstan has a multi-level pension system, consisting of a basic, mandatory, and voluntary level.
The first level (basic) – the state basic pension payment (the republican budget)
At the basic level, a state basic pension benefit is provided, which is granted to citizens (as well as to persons permanently residing in the territory of the republic) when reaching the retirement age. It is carried out regardless of the receipt of a solidarity and/or funded pension.
The recipients of the state basic pension benefit is more than 2 million people.
On July 1, 2018, the methodology of pension granting was changed and the new mechanism for granting a basic pension is as follows:
- Its size, with the participation in the pension system of 10 years or less, or its absence, will be equal to 54% of the subsistence level (SL).
- For each year, worked over 10 years, the basic pension increases by 2%. For example, the experience of 20 years – the basic pension of 74% of the PM, worked 30 years – the basic pension – 94% of the PM, with an experience of 33 or more years, the basic pension will amount to 100% of the PM.
At the same time, the length of participation in the pension system include:
- Work experience, worked out before January 1, 1998.
- Accumulative experience (actual experience of payment of pension contributions) after January 1, 1998.
- Other socially significant periods (caring for a child under 3 years – (within 12 years) periods of care for the disabled person of the first group, lonely disabled person of the second group and old-age pensioner who need outside help, as well as for an elderly person who has reached eighty years of age, and disabled from childhood to 16 years, residence time for spouses of military personnel, employees of special agencies, and diplomatic workers).
The second level (mandatory) – This is a pension from the solidarity system (the republican budget) and the Unified Accumulative Pension Fund which requires mandatory pension contributions and mandatory professional pension contributions.
With the transition to a funded pension system that provides for the transfer of mandatory pension contributions by all employees, each employer is obliged to carry out a regular transfer of OPV in the amount of 10% of the monthly income of the employee (not more than 75 times the minimum wage) to the employee’s individual retirement account opened in the UAPF.
In accordance with Article 31 of the Law, persons who have pension savings in the UAPF have the right to pension payments:
1) When reaching the retirement age – 59 years for women/63 years for men.
2) If pension accumulations are sufficient to ensure payment not less than the minimum pension, men at the age of 55 and women – 50 years 6 months by concluding a pension annuity contract.
3) Disabled persons of the first and second groups, if the disability is established for indefinite period.
4) Foreigners and stateless persons who have left the country for permanent residence outside the Republic of Kazakhstan, who have submitted documents confirming the fact of departure.
The third level(voluntary) – Payments from voluntary pension contributions.
Voluntary pension contributions is money contributed by employees on their own initiative to the UAPF and (or) a voluntary accumulative pension fund for themselves or by third parties. Their rate, and the period of payment, are determined by the contract on pension provision at the expense of voluntary pension contributions.
Contributors of voluntary pension contributions is a natural or legal person that makes voluntary pension contributions at its own expense.
Paid Time Off
In accordance with Article 99 of the Labor Code, pregnant women, women who gave birth to a child/children, women and men who adopted a newborn child/children are granted the following leave in connection with the birth of a child:
- Maternity leave
- Leave to employees who adopted a newborn child/children
- Leave without pay for childcare until he reaches the age of 3 years
The duration of maternity leave according to Article 99 of the Code is 126 calendar days (70 calendar days before birth and 56 calendar days after birth). In case of complicated births or the birth of two or more children, 70 days are given. The number of annual leave days does not depend on the duration of the work, so it does not matter how long you worked for the employer.
In addition to maternity leave, optional leave without pay for childcare can be granted up to 3 years. According to Article 99 of the Code, such leave can be received by the father or mother of the child, and if the child is left without parental care, then by the next of kin, i.e. who will actually be involved in the upbringing of the child.
|For non-working women||For working women|
|Types of payments and allowances|
|One-time state benefits for the birth of a child|
|One-time social payment for cases of loss of income due to pregnancy and childbirth, adoption of a newborn child (children)|
|Monthly social allowance for child care upon reaching one year||Monthly social benefit in case of loss of income in connection with childcare upon reaching the age of one year|
Working women who are participants in the compulsory social insurance system are entitled to receive social benefits (that is, for whom the employer pays social contributions).
Calculating a lump sum payment for parental leave – This social benefit is calculated only for working women and the amount is determined by social deductions for the last 12 months before the date of the onset of social risk, regardless of the actual worked period. The amount of payment can be found by multiplying the average monthly income for the last 12 months from which social contributions have been paid by the corresponding number of days of incapacity for work, and subtract 10% for pension contributions.
In order to calculate the amount of payments, you need to divide the total income for the last 2 years (as evidenced by social contributions) by 24 months, then multiply by 0.4 and subtract 10% of the pension contributions.
This is a monthly insurance payment, due to the employee as compensation of damage, related with loss of earnings (income) by the employee in connection with the degree of loss of occupational capacity from 30% to 100% inclusively shall be carried out by insurer.
The amount of average monthly earnings (income), considered for calculation of lost earnings (income), subjected to compensation shall not exceed ten-fold the amount of minimum earnings, established on the relevant financial year by the Law on republican budget, on the date of conclusion of agreement of compulsory insurance of employee from accidents.
The amount of insurance payment shall be carried out less of the social payment on the case of loss of capacity from the State fund of social insurance.
Compulsory pension contributions shall be held and transferred from the insurance payments, made by the insurer as compensation of damage, related with loss of earnings (income), to the unified retirement savings fund.
The total amount of insurance payments on compensation of additional expenses, caused by injure to health shall not exceed the following amounts (in the monthly calculation indices, established on the relevant financial year by the Law on republican budget):
1) Upon establishment of the degree of loss of occupational capacity from 30%-59% inclusively – 500
2) Upon establishment of the degree of loss of occupational capacity from 60%-89% inclusively – 750
3) Upon establishment of the degree of loss of occupational capacity from 90%-100% inclusively – 1000.
Supplementary Employee Benefits
GWP for voluntary health insurance in January-February increased by 36% year over year and amounted to KZT 13 billion (~EUR 30.9 million), while its market share (10.4%) remained mostly unchanged compared to the previous year.
Market experts believe that this trend is caused by increasing costs of medical services and medicines.
Larger employers will often provide employees with a range of ‘voluntary benefits’ that can be provided at discounted prices through the employer including personal accident insurance, critical illness, and coverage for covid-19.
Some employers can provide ‘gym on site’ facilities whereas smaller employers may offer gym subsidies or access to a gym with lower corporate rates. Many employers choose to subsidize this benefit through wellness accounts that offer more flexibility for employees with wellness needs outside of the standard gym membership options.
This lets employees reach nutritionists, naturopaths, and mental health specialists for free through the health insurance policy. An online doctor visit may have a per appointment charge attached. Some services include prescriptions and delivery through an app.
Mental Health Training
Leadership training on mental health, anti-stigma campaigns, mindfulness, and stress reduction programs are becoming common.
- Ministry of Health and Social Development for universal, social insurance, and social assistance programs.
- Unified Accumulative Pension Fund runs the mandatory individual account program.
This information about employee benefits in Kazakhstan is provided by MAI CEE, Asinta’s employee benefits consulting Partner in Kazakhstan.