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Updated by Victoria Giroud-Castiella on 14.03.2014

Contributory social security in Honduras is available through numerous schemes for workers in the formal public and private sectors. In 2004, around 34 per cent of the salaried workers were covered by social security. Those who were not covered by these schemes depended on systems of cash transfers and other social assistance programmes.

The largest social security scheme is managed by the Honduran Social Security Institute (Instituto Hondureño de Seguridad Social, IHSS), founded in 1959, which guarantees certain sickness, maternity, work injury, occupational diseases, disability, and old-age benefits, as well as death grants, for public employees and salaried workers in firms in industry and commerce with one or more workers.

The National Retirement and Pension Institute for Public Officials and Government Employees (Instituto Nacional de Jubilaciones y Pensiones de los Empleados y Funcionarios del Poder Ejecutivo, INJUPEMP), created in 1971, provides old-age, death while in active service, and disability benefits for public officials and government employees.

The National Pension Institute for Teachers (Instituto Nacional de Previsión del Magisterio, INPREMA) was founded in 1980 to cover primary and secondary school teachers in the public and private sectors. This scheme provides life insurance which also covers spouses and dependents, a disability pension, and severance pay or old-age benefits for teachers in the public and private systems.

The National Autonomous University of Honduras Employee Pension Institute (Instituto de Previsión Social de los Empleados de la Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Honduras, INPREUNAH) has been providing social security for the teaching and administrative personnel of the National Autonomous University since 1989.

The military also have their own scheme, the Military Pension Institute (Instituto de Previsión Militar, IPM), which was established in 1972. The scheme covers old-age benefits for the military, the police corps, and firefighters.

The National Social Security Institute for Journalists (Instituto de Previsión Social de los Periodistas, IPSP), established in 1985, guarantees voluntary or compulsory old-age pensions, disability benefits, medical insurance, life insurance, and funeral grants for covered journalists.

According to the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), between 1998 and 2007, the economically active population contributing to social security increased from 16 per cent to 21 per cent. Coverage currently varies according to the contributory scheme, with 18 per cent by the IHSS, 2.4 per cent by INPREMA, 2.2 per cent by INJUPEMP, and 0.2 per cent by the IPM. In 2006, 5 per cent of the population aged 65 years and older received a pension.

Honduras has a long tradition of non-contributory social assistance programmes which aim to reduce poverty. These programmes, which include the Family Benefits Programme (Programa de Asignaciones Familiares, PRAF) vouchers and the Bono 10 000 vouchers, currently provide cash transfers to families at social risk.