The Ministry of Employment has presented a draft decree to regulate the social welfare system and the minimum protection threshold for Colombia’s rural and urban populations in line with the commitments under the Final Agreement to end the conflict and build a stable and lasting peace.
This project is part of a set of public policies designed to reduce the vulnerability of the most disadvantaged Colombians and to improve their living standards.
The regulation establishes that the Social Welfare System will consist of: i) the Integrated Social Security System, made up of the General Health System, General Pensions System, General Occupational Risk System, Complementary Social Services, and ii) the Family Subsidy System.
One of the features of this regulation is the expanded cover of Regular Financial Benefits (Beneficios Económicos Periódicos BEP*) to include those with incomes under 1 MMW. It also establishes the procedure for people to transition gradually from the Subsidy Programme to the Contributory Pension system, to the BEPS, as well as the subsidy for BEPs with parafiscal farming and fishing contributions.
The regulation will create “Inclusive Insurance Policies”, mechanisms to provide lower-income people with cover for accident, illness, death or natural disasters, among others, paying premiums that are adapted to their needs, incomes and risk level; the regulation establishes how these insurance plans should be funded.
The inclusive insurance plans are part of the “Minimum protection threshold for occupational risk“, which seeks to protect the occupational activity of lower income workers.
The expectation is that the insurance schemes will be funded or co-funded by Family Welfare Funds [Cajas de Compensación Familiar], trade associations, producers’ associations, guilds and cooperatives that represent rural workers.
The regulation seeks to provide insurance for serious harm, contingent damage and catastrophe, to cover the economic activities of those with incomes of under 1 MMW, working in agriculture.
The regulation also creates the framework for developing trade campaigns and activities to promote a climate of workplace accident prevention and good health-and-safety practices in rural jobs; these will be rolled out by the Family Welfare Funds, trade associations, producers’ associations, guilds and cooperatives that represent rural workers.
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* Beneficios Económicos Periódicos (BEP) – [Regular Financial Benefits] – are a voluntary old-age savings programme for low-income people who have not been able to build up a pension or who, having done so, fail to meet all the requirements to receive it.