Statistics show that for the period January – March 2011, 88.5% of Colombian workers were enrolled in the state social security program, while only 30.2% were involved in a pension program, the national statistics department (DANE) reported in a Thursday press release.
In comparison, a 2008 report from The Employee Benefit Research Institute showed just under 55% of US citizens ages 21-64 as being registered in pension plans.
In addition to the nation-wide study, DANE released a report on the 13 cities with the highest participation in social security and pension plans. Medellin had the highest participation rate for the first trimester, followed by Manizales in the coffee region and then the country’s capital, Bogota. Cucuta, near the Venezuelan border, showed the least participation of the 13 cities cited.
The current state social security law that covers the elderly, disabled and survivors was implemented in 1994, but was amended in 2003 to cover all employees, including public-sector employees, household workers and the self-employed.
Special systems are in place for employees of the state oil company (Ecopetrol) (who joined before January 30, 2003), teachers, members of the armed forces and national police personnel, according to a report on the social security program in Colombia by the US Social Security Administration (SSA).
According to the SSA, insured individuals in Colombia contribute 3.875% of covered earnings to social security payments. Those who make more than 16 times the minimum wage pay a fraction of a percent to help subsidize low earners.
Self employed persons contribute 15.5% of declared earnings and employers contribute 11.625% of covered payroll towards the social security fund.