Social Security and Insurance
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Social Security and Insurances

Contents:

5.1. The social security system in this country
5.2. Unemployment Insurance
5.3. Sickness Insurance
5.4. Family & Maternity benefits
5.5. Pensions
5.6. E-forms

 

5.1  The social security system you meet in this country

General organisation

Malta’s current social welfare system is the result of the development of a set of laws over several decades. Social Security contributions and benefits are the backbone of social welfare, aimed at reducing the financial hardships of sickness, disability, injury, old age and unemployment.

Malta’s social welfare is carried out by the Social Security Division located in Valletta. Contribution payments are collected by the Income Tax Department, but the funds are administered by the Social Security authorities. The health and housing divisions also play an instrumental role in providing medical care and housing support.

 

The Social Security Division is presently divided into 3 main branches:

- Contributory Benefits

- Non-contributory Benefits

- Customer Care & International Relations

 

The Division deals with assistance in claims for all types of benefits as well as providing general advice and information. The actual assessment of claims of the majority of the benefits and the general administration of the organization is dealt with centrally from the department’s head office.

 

Social Security Department

38 Ordinance Street,

Valletta VLT 1021

Telephone: 25903000

Fax: 259032131

 

Social Security Act Chapter 318

URL: http://www.justice.gov.mt/legalservices.asp

 

Ministry of Education, Employment and the Family - Social Policy

URL: http://www.socialpolicy.gov.mt 

 

Subsections to the above act are also available online:

318.01 Old Age Pensions Regulations

318.02 Public Assistance (Oaths) Regulations

318.03 Social Security (Armed Forces) Order

318.04 Social Security (Reciprocal Agreement with the United UK) Order

318.05 Classes of Earnings (Special Exceptions) Order

318.06 Children’s Allowances Regulations

318.07 Social Security (Extension) Order

318.08 Maximum Pensionable Income Order

318.09 Family Bonus Order

318.10 Emergency Assistance Order

318.11 Social Security (Reciprocal Agreement with Australia) Order

318.12 European Social Charter Order

318.13 Specified State-Owned Institutions and Hostels Regulations

318.14 State-Owned Institutions and Hostels Rates Regulations

318.15 Fees payable on the Filing of Judicial Acts, Appeals Regulations

318.16 Social Security (U.N. Convention relating to the Status of Refugees) Order

318.17 Transfer of Funds (Government Financed Beds) Regulations

318.18 Bilateral Agreement between Malta and the Netherlands Regulations

318.19 Transfer of Funds (Specified State Owned) Hostels Regulations

 


5.2  Unemployment Insurance

Beneficiaries

All persons who prior to an application for unemployment benefit were engaged as employed.

Conditions of entitlement

Unemployed persons must be registered with the Employment and Training Corporation, fit and available for work, and must have 50 weeks of paid contributions of which at least 20 paid or credited should be in the last two previous years.

If he/she leaves employment voluntarily or because of misconduct no benefit is paid for a period of 6 months. Registering unemployed persons lose their unemployment benefit on refusal of work offered for no justifiable reason.


Social Security Division
38 Ordnance Street,
Valletta VLT 1021
Telephone: 25903000
Fax: 25903231


Employment and Training Corporation
Ħal Far Road
Birżebbuga BBG 3000
Tel: 22201567
Email: etc@gov.mt

Social Security Act (Chapter 318 of the Laws of Malta)
URL: http://www.justice.gov.mt/legalservices.asp

 


5.3  Sickness Insurance

 

Sickness Insurance – Beneficiaries and conditions for entitlement

Employees are entitled to wages during illness according to Maltese law and collective agreements. The length of entitlement to sick pay depends on for how long a time the employee has worked for the employer. When the illness continues in the long term the employer is no longer obliged to pay wages. The employee is entitled to sickness benefits provided that person is insured under the Social Security Act.


Conditions of entitlement

Proof of incapacity: A medical certificate from a general practitioner is requested from the first day of sickness. The patient is re-examined every week if the period of sickness exceeds one week. If after 60 benefit days the patient is still producing medical certificates he/she is examined by a medical panel appointed by the Social Security Division to determine whether the sickness benefit is still warranted.

Qualifying period: Entitlement to sickness benefit is subject to at least 50 paid Contributions of which 20 paid or credited should have been paid in the preceding two years.

 

Social Security Division
38 Ordnance Street,
Valletta VLT 1021
Telephone: 25903000
Fax: 25903231

 

Social Security Act (Chapter 318 of the Laws of Malta)
URL: http://www.justice.gov.mt/legalservices.asp

 

5.4  Family & Maternity

Maternity Insurance – Beneficiaries

Maternity benefits are payable to women who have become mothers. The benefits consist of Maternity Leave in the form of 13 weeks of paid leave and Maternity Benefit which is a fixed sum made available to mother who do not qualify for paid Maternity Leave.


Conditions of entitlement

A medical certification by a general practitioner should confirm that the claimant is pregnant and the expected date of delivery.

An employee may apply for maternity leave for an uninterrupted period of 14 weeks. She has to notify the employer at least four weeks before the maternity leave begins, in so far as is reasonably practicable.

Maternity leave is granted as follows:

(a) six weeks of the maternity leave entitlement to be taken compulsorily immediately after the date of confinement;

(b) four weeks of maternity leave to be availed of immediately before the expected date of confinement, unless agreed otherwise between the employer and the employee;

(c) the remaining balance of entitlement to be availed of, in whole or in part, either immediately before or immediately after the above periods, as the employee may request:

 

Provided that if she is unable to avail herself of the maternity leave entitlement before the date of confinement, such remaining balance of entitlement may be availed of after confinement.

An employee on maternity leave shall be entitled to maternity leave with full wages during the first thirteen weeks of such leave, with the fourteenth week being unpaid.

Family Benefits – Beneficiaries

The beneficiaries are all families residing in Malta. The department also conducts an income means test to determine entitlement and the rate of benefit.


Conditions of entitlement

The children of the household, for whom benefits are applied, must be residing in Malta and not past their sixteenth birthday, and the recipient must have the care and custody of the child.

 

Social Security Division
38 Ordnance Street,
Valletta VLT 1021
Telephone: 25903000
Fax: 25903231

 

Social Security Act (Chapter 318 of the Laws of Malta)
URL: http://www.justice.gov.mt/legalservices.asp

 

5.5  Pensions

Old-Age Insurance

Pension reforms came into effect in January 2007. These reforms provide for the pension age to increase gradually to 65 years and provide also for an early retirement opt-out clause. This opt-out clause allows for a person who has attained the age of sixty on (61) years, but has not yet attained the applicable pension age, to choose to retire after attaining sixty one (61) years of age under certain conditions. Moreover further amendments were carried out to prepare for the introduction of the second and third pillar pension systems and also the award of contribution credits (under certain provisions) to parents who temporarily leave the work force to look after their children.

Beneficiaries

All persons who reach retirement age.

Conditions of entitlement

The full rate of the two-thirds pension will be equal to two-thirds (2/3rds) of the pensionable income of a person who, following his or her eighteenth (18th) birthday has been paid or been credited with a yearly average of 50 weeks of contributions over a period of:

  • Thirty (30) years in the case of a person born on or before the 31st December 1951;
  • Thirty five (35) years for a person born during the calendar years 1952 to 1961;
  • Forty (40) years in the case of a person born on or after the 1st January 1962.


Life Insurance (Survivors’ pension) – Beneficiaries

The widows or widower of a deceased contributor who would have been entitled to a retirement pension.


Conditions of entitlement

The surviving spouse of a contributor whether a widow or a widower who immediately prior to widowhood had a legal right to be maintained by the other spouse. A surviving spouse can be gainfully occupied and still entitled to a Survivor’s Pension regardless of her earnings if she has children, who have not yet reached their eighteenth birthday, is over 65 years of age, or her earnings are less than the minimum wage. Recent amendments provide for pensioners between 61 and 65 to continue working provided that the Social Security contributions are paid.


Insurance for occupational accidents and diseases – Beneficiaries

All employees and self-occupied persons who sustain an injury/disease while at work. Benefits vary according to the employee’s prior income and contributions.


Conditions of entitlement

An application form should be filled in by the employer and countersigned by the employee confirming that the claimant has sustained an injury while at work. The application should reach the department within 10 days from the date of injury.

 

5.6  E-forms

Co-ordination between Member States is carried out primarily through the use of E-Forms. These forms, each with a specific purpose, are used to exchange information between Member States. The matters covered by the above-mentioned regulations are sickness and maternity, accidents at work, occupational diseases, invalidity benefits, old-age pensions, survivors' benefits, death grants, unemployment benefits and family benefits.

The above-mentioned benefits are divided in two - benefits in cash and in kind. The competent institution responsible for benefits in cash in Malta is the Directorate General of Social Security, while the institution responsible for benefits in kind is the Health Division.


 

Social Security Division
38 Ordnance Street,
Valletta VLT 1021
Telephone: 25903000
Fax: 25903231

Telephone Assistance: SPIC on 159

 

Social Security Act (Chapter 318 of the Laws of Malta)
URL: http://www.justice.gov.mt/legalservices.asp
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