[Updated 3/25/23] In Kazakhstan, healthcare is the number one benefit people care about. Governmental healthcare is insufficient, and private medical clinics are costly. However, many employers are surprised that employees’ expectations relating to health insurance are very high, in fact, too high. This is due to a lack of understanding of insurance 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 $US190 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.
Per 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 a breadwinner, and other legal grounds.
Kazakhstan has a multi-level pension system consisting of basic, mandatory, and voluntary levels.
The first level (basic) – is the state basic pension payment (the republican budget)
At the basic level, a state basic pension benefit is provided, which is granted to citizens (and persons permanently residing in the republic’s territory) when retirement age is reached. It is carried out regardless of receiving solidarity and/or funded pension.
More than 2.276 million people receive the state basic pension benefit.
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 equal 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 – of 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 includes the following:
- Work experience worked out before January 1, 1998.
- Accumulative experience (experience of payment of pension contributions) after January 1, 1998.
- Other socially significant periods include caring for a child under 3 years – (within 12 years), periods of care for a disabled person of the first group, and disabled person from childhood till 16 years, a single disabled person of the second group, and old-age pensioner who needs outside help, as well as for people 80+, and disabled from childhood to 18 years, the 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.
Transitioning to a funded pension system that provides for mandatory pension contributions by all employees, each employer is obliged to carry out a regular transfer of OPV – 10% of the employee’s monthly income (not more than 75 times the minimum wage) to the employee’s retirement account opened in the UAPF.
Per 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 – 61 years for women/63 years for men.
2) If pension accumulations are sufficient to ensure payment not less than the minimum pension, men at 55 and women – at 53 years by concluding a pension annuity contract.
3) Disabled persons of the first and second groups if the disability is established indefinitely.
4) Foreigners and stateless persons who have left the country for permanent residence outside the Republic of Kazakhstan and who have submitted documents confirming the fact of departure.
The third level(voluntary) – Payments from voluntary pension contributions.
A voluntary pension contribution is money employees contribute to the UAPF and (or) a voluntary accumulative pension fund for themselves or 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 their own expense.
Paid Time Off
Per Article 99 of the Labor Code, pregnant women, women who gave birth to a child/children, and 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
Maternity leave is 126 calendar days (70 days before birth and 56 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 for 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 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 participating in the compulsory social insurance system are entitled to social benefits (that is, for whom the employer pays social contributions).
Calculating a lump sum payment for parental leave – This social benefit is only for working women. The amount is determined by social deductions for the last 12 months before the onset of social risk, regardless of the worked period. The payment amount 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 subtracting 10% for pension contributions.
To calculate the payment amount, 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 for damage related to 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 the insurer.
Average monthly earnings (income) considered for lost earnings (income subject to compensation) shall not exceed 10x minimum earnings. This calculation is established for the relevant financial year by law for the compulsory accident insurance’s conclusion date.
Compulsory pension contributions shall be held and transferred from the insurance payments made by the insurer as compensation for damage related to loss of earnings (income) to the unified retirement savings fund.
The total amount of insurance payments for the compensation of additional expenses caused by injury to health shall not exceed the following amounts (in the monthly calculation indices, established on the relevant financial year by the law on the 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
Larger employers will often provide employees with a range of ‘voluntary benefits’ 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 subsidize this benefit through wellness accounts that provide flexibility for employees with wellness needs outside 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 mandatory and supplemental employee benefits in Kazakhstan comes from Asinta’s Central and Eastern European Partner, the GrECo Group.