In Uzbekistan, people care about their healthcare benefits the most. Government healthcare is insufficient, and private medical care is 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 expected benefits in order of importance, the average Uzbek employee will respond with death, disability, personal accident, and retirement.
The average monthly cost for a typical benefits package is $US 150 per month.
Mandatory employee benefits in Uzbekistan include pension, PTO, and employment insurance. Supplementary employee benefits include medical insurance, voluntary benefits, and employment insurance.
Mandatory Employee Benefits in Uzbekistan
Citizens of the Republic of Uzbekistan, foreigners, and stateless persons permanently residing in the territory of the Republic of Uzbekistan, have the right to pension payments unless otherwise provided by laws and international treaties.
By the Republic of Uzbekistan Constitution, a citizen of the Republic of Uzbekistan is guaranteed a minimum wage and pension, social security by age, in case of illness, disability, and loss of a breadwinner, and other legal grounds.
Uzbekistan has a multi-level pension system consisting of a basic, mandatory, and voluntary level.
The first level (basic) – A basic pension payment (from the republican budget)
The government provides the state basic pension benefit, which is granted to citizens (and to persons permanently residing in the republic’s territory) when reaching the retirement age. Payments are made regardless of other pension payments.
According to the Off-budget Pension Fund data under the Ministry of Finance of the Republic of Uzbekistan, as of May 1, 2020, the total number of pensioners and recipients of benefits registered in the off-budget Pension Fund is 3 million 734 thousand 230 people.
There is a new mechanism for granting a basic pension:
- With the participation in the pension system of 10 years or less, payment is equal to 54% of the subsistence level (SL).
- For each year worked over 10 years, the basic pension increases by 2%. For example, if a person works for 20 years, the basic pension is 74% of the PM. For 30 years, 94% of the PM, and for 33 or more years, the basic pension is 100% of the PM.
At the same time, the length of participation in the pension system includes:
- Work experience before January 1, 1998.
- Cumulative experience (actual pension contribution payments) after January 1, 1998.
- Other socially significant periods such as caring for a child under 3 years (within 12 years), a disabled person, an old-age pensioner who needs outside help, an older adult who is 80+, as well as the residence time for military personnel’s spouses, employees of special agencies, and diplomatic workers.
The second level (mandatory) is a pension from the solidarity system (the republican budget) and the Unified Accumulative Pension Fund requiring mandatory pension 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.
Following the Law, persons who have pension savings in the UAPF have the right to pension payments:
1) When reaching the retirement age – 55 years for women/60 years for men.
2) If pension accumulations are sufficient to ensure payment not less than the minimum pension, men at 59 and women at 54 years by concluding a pension annuity contract.
3) Disabled persons of the first and second groups (if the disability is established for an indefinite period).
4) Foreigners and stateless persons who left the country for permanent residence outside the Republic of Uzbekistan, who submitted documents confirming departure.
The third level (voluntary) – Payments from voluntary pension contributions.
Voluntary pension contributions come from employees by their initiative to the UAPF and (or) a voluntary accumulative pension fund for themselves or third parties. The contract determines the payment rate and the payment period on pension provision at the expense of voluntary pension contributions.
Contributors of voluntary pension contributions are natural or legal people who make voluntary pension contributions at their own expense.
Paid Time Off
Following 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
According to Article 99 of the Code, the duration of maternity leave 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 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 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. The amount is determined by social deductions for the last 12 months before the onset of social risk, regardless of the actual worked period. Payments are calculated by multiplying the previous 12 months’ average monthly income (from which social contributions were paid) by the corresponding number of days of leave, then subtract 10% for pension contributions.
Employees receive a monthly insurance payment to compensate for damage related to the loss of earnings (income) in connection with the degree of loss of occupational capacity from 30% to 100% inclusively. Insurers carry out these payments.
The calculations for lost monthly earnings shall not exceed 10x minimum earnings established by the republican budget. The conclusion date for compulsory accident insurance is also a factor. The final payment amount has the social payment (in the case of loss of capacity to work) from the State social insurance fund deducted.
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
Employer-sponsored health insurance is rising in popularity, and market experts believe this trend is caused by the increasing costs of medical services and prescriptions.
Larger employers will often provide employees with a range of voluntary benefits at discounted prices. These benefits include personal accident insurance, critical illness, and coverage for COVID-19.
Some larger employers provide ‘gym on site’ facilities, whereas smaller employers may offer gym subsidies or access to a gym with lower corporate rates. In addition, many employers choose to subsidize this benefit through wellness accounts that provide more flexibility for employees with wellness needs outside of the standard gym membership options.
Virtual care lets employees reach nutritionists, naturopaths, and mental health specialists for free through their health insurance policy. An online doctor visit may have a per appointment charge attached. Some services include prescriptions and prescription delivery through an app.
Mental Health Training
Leadership training on mental health, anti-stigma campaigns, mindfulness, and stress reduction programs are becoming common.
Helpful Government Websites
- Ministry of Health and Social Development for universal social insurance and social assistance programs.
- Unified Accumulative Pension Fund runs the mandatory individual account program.
MAI CEE, Asinta’s employee benefits consulting Partner in Uzbekistan, provides this information about employee benefits in Uzbekistan.