Government approves increase in disability and elderly social pensions

Thu. 11 of January of 2024, 11:43h

At its meeting yesterday, January 10th, 2023, the Council of Ministers approved a draft Decree-Law for the first amendment to Decree-Law 53/2022 of July 20th, which aims to promote monthly increases in the amounts of disability and elderly social pensions in the non-contributory social security system. These increases vary between US$ 3,23 and US$ 43 per month, depending on the beneficiary's age.

The aim of this draft Decree-Law is to revise the formula for calculating the monthly amount of pensions under the non-contributory social security system, given that although this value has been set by reference to the international poverty threshold, there is a need for greater adjustment to the national reality, especially for people of older ages - and, also for this reason, with greater difficulties in accessing other income and with greater health problems.

With this draft Decree-Law, this social benefit can no longer be accumulated with income from work for everyone, unlike the previous definition, which applied this restriction only to new pensioners, without prejudice to guaranteeing the acquired right to benefits already paid.

The daily amount considered to be the minimum to live with dignity, estimated by the Government according to the poverty line and economic situation, will now be US$ 2 per day, resulting in a monthly amount of US$ 60. In addition, US$ 20 will be added for citizens between the ages of 70 and 79, and US$ 40 for citizens over the age of 80.

Social pensions for the elderly and those with a disability under the non-contributory social security system are aimed at national residents in Timor-Leste who are not covered by the general contributory system, including those who have never contributed or who have not contributed long enough to access equivalent benefits under the general contributory system. Thus, Social pensions take the form of a decent minimum income aimed at those who need it because they have no other income.

After the Council of Ministers approves, the draft Decree-Law will proceed to the President of the Republic for promulgation and publication. This Decree-Law will take effect on January 1st, 2024.