NSSF Still Runs into Deep Deficit
The National Social Security Fund (NSSF) show a deficit of LBP60bn in the Sickness & Maternity category in 2011 on revenues of
LBP546.8bn and expenditures of about LBP597.7bn during the year, according to figures released by the fund.
The category posted just two annual surpluses during the 2001-11 period that consist of a surplus of LBP12bn in 2009 and one of LBP27.9bn in 2005. As a result, the accumulated deficit in the category reached LBP438.8bn at end-2011 compared to an accumulated surplus of LBP415.6 at end-2000. Also, the Family Benefits category recorded a deficit of LBP39.3bn in 2011 on revenues of LBP262.7bn and expenditures of about LBP302bn during the year.
The category posted a deficit of LBP39.3bn in 2010 and did not post an annual surplus since 2000, with the accumu- lated deficit reaching LBP379.7bn at end-2011 relative to an accumulated surplus of LBP219.6bn at end-2000. Further, the End-of- Service category posted a surplus of around LBP824.7bn in 2011 compared to LBP752.4bn in 2010, with revenues reaching LBP1,115bn and expenses totaling LBP290.3bn.
The accumulated surplus in this category totaled LBP7,893bn at end-2011 relative to a surplus of LBP1,746.4bn at end-2000. Also, the Fund had to withdraw around LBP818bn from the End-of-Service category to cover the deficit at the Sickness & Maternity and Family Benefits categories.
Earlier this month, the NSSF increased its coverage for an overnight stay of a patient at a hospital from the current LBP30,000 to LBP90,000 per night, in return for increasing the ceiling of employees' contributions to the sickness and maternity category from LBP30,000 to LBP50,000. Prior to this decision, employers deducted 2% of an employee's salary for salaries up to LBP1.5m as con- tribution to the NSSF's sickness and maternity category.
The deduction was capped at LBP30,000 per month for monthly salaries above LBP1.5m. The new agreement raised the employee's contribution to a maximum of LBP50,000 by raising the salary cap to LBP2.5m and keeping the share at 2% of the monthly income. The decision came after private hospitals complained that the NSSF coverage became too low in light of the increase in the cost of patients' care.
Source: Lebanon This Week, Byblos Bank economic publication
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