PASI- What is it?
In this case, PASI is not related to a skin condition. It is the acronym for Public Authority for Social Insurance. It is a child of Oman, and it does what it says on the tin.
Quite simply, PASI is the governmental administrative body of the social security law in Oman. The agency came into force in 1992 and applies specifically to Omani citizens within Oman and Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries. The purpose of the insurance is to provide social protection for Omani employees in retirement, disability, death and other risks of injury or occupational disease. In November 2020, the social security law updated to include employment security insurance.
All private companies operating in Oman and Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) with Omani employees must register with PASI as an employer and register new employees within one month of employment commencement date. Omani citizens can also register themselves. In all cases, when first registering with PASI, the employee must be between 15 and 59 years of age.
In the case of Omani company employees, all businesses are mandated to pay social security contributions within 15 days of the subsequent month. The contribution has employer and employee components, and normally the employer pays both contributions over to PASI, with the employee share deducted at source.
PASI calculates contributions on the aggregate basic gross salary and any allowances paid in cash or kind. The gross salary is capped at OMR3,000, even if an employee’s monthly salary exceeds this amount.
The PASI contribution for each employee is split as follows:
- Employer contributions: 10.5% of the value of the employee’s monthly salary, with 10.5% allocated to insurance against old age, disability and death, and 1% for occupational disease and injury.
- Employee contributions: 7% of gross salary.
- Government contributions: 5.5% of gross salary.
An Omani between the age of 15 and 59 would register once with PASI as an employee and receive a one-time PASI number that the employee would use for the duration of his or her work life. When an employee changes companies, the former and new employers must notify PASI of the change.
The process for registering a new employee is quite straight forward.
Step 1: Complete the new employee registration form.
Step 2: Enclose a copy of the employee’s ID card or passport, and a copy of the contract of employment registered at the Ministry of Manpower.
Step 3: For Omanis working outside GCC countries, complete the registration form for Omanis Working Abroad.
Step 4: An authorized representative, normally the Public Relations Officer of a company, submits supporting documents at one of PASI’s nine branches.
Step 5: PASI issues a Permanent Insurance Number (PIN) and card to the employee.
New job security insurance
In November 2020, Royal Decree No. 82 of 2020 commenced for the protection of Omanis in the event of unemployment based on a company’s business decisions.
According to the new law, private sector companies are required to inform the Ministry of Labour three months or more in advance of planned terminations of employment. Failure to do so may result in additional charges for the employer.
For the new insurance, PASI requires the contributions as follows:
- Employer contributions: 1% of the employee’s monthly salary.
- Employee contributions: 1% of the employee’s monthly wage. Private sector employers deduct the employee contribution at source and pay it over to PASI within 15 days of the following month, as per the other PASI contributions. If the employer is in the public sector, the employee contribution is deducted at source and paid over to PASI at the end of each month. Failure to make timeous payments could result in additional charges.
- Additional payments: the employer must pay an additional 5% fee for each new license or license renewal when recruiting foreign nationals instead of Omanis.
PASI of Oman is the enforcer of the country’s citizens’ social security, and it is set to improve. Sultan Haitham bin Tariq al-Said who has been in power since January 2020, is in the process of overhauling the social security system as part of administrative and economic reforms. There are reforms in the pipeline that would make PASI and its ambit more streamlined and arguably more accessible to Omanis in the future.
In April, the Sultan announced that a newly-formed cabinet committee has 12 months to restructure the existing pension and social security systems, while drafting a new social protection law. Under the new scheme, Omanis can qualify for optional pension pay if they have worked for at least 30 years. It will aim to include more of the lower income Omani citizens.
The future for Omani social security is so good, you can’t PASI(t) up. Or something along that line.
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