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A law that strengthens the social security of Cubans
The new Social Security Act fulfils the precept of serving the whole society, but it is necessary to increase productivity and efficiency at work to maintain the system that supports the benefits of workers.

The Roundtable program made an analysis of this legislation and its implementation, and the changes made to the original draft after being discussed by the workers in their trade union branches, and by the members of the National Assembly.

María Beatriz Enríquez Charles, vice minister of Work and Social Security, said that this law perfects the system of protection for the Cuban citizens, taking into account a number of elements and complexities of jobs none existent years ago.

Enriquez Charles noted that the discussion with the deputies and the collective workers allowed the introduction a series of amendments to the bill, whose implementation will go through a period of seven years.

Among the proposals added is the extension to 15 years the maximum time to consider the yields earned in five years to compute retirement pension. The initial proposal was ten years.

Another variation from the union discussions was the right of retirees to receive more than one pension. On their side, retired people with 60 years for women and 65 men, may return to work in the same profile but in different positions and receive apart from their pension the incomes for the work they perform.

Francisco Travieso Damas, adviser to the Minister of Labor and Social Security, said today, with authorization, 39,000 retirees draw their pension and the incomes obtained from their jobs, 19 percent of that number are agricultural workers.

Also the pension will benefit young people, orphans, and will extend beyond the age limit of 17, and will include payment during their time studying.

As an aspect of the new legislation, the Minister noted the inclusion in the Social Security benefits for the people who work on the land in general, which is now just set for workers in the tobacco, coffee and cocoa crops.

Francisco Travieso Damas explained that the Act, which set the retirement age for women at 60 years and 65 for men, is to be implemented gradually with the objective of affecting the workers close to retirement the least possible as provided in Act 24.

The Roundtable was also informed that other proposals made by the workers were examined but were not included because their implementation would cost the country too much.

The director of the Social Security Institute, Martha Elena Feito Cabrera noted that the basis of the social security system for workers is employment, so it is necessary to raise the levels of efficiency and productivity.

She also said that this system is very costly and the cost may increase, because the population is becoming older each day, a tendency that started at the end of the 1970s, due, among other factors, to the increase in life expectancy of Cubans, which is now of 77.79 years.

According to what was said in during the Round Table, in the discussions held in the unions, the need to improve working conditions was mentioned again, as well as examining payment according to the real work performed and taking measures with people no longer involved in any trade.

(Juventud Rebelde)

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