Updated by Sven Nef on 21.04.2017
Social security in Jordan is largely delivered through four major programmes:
- a public social insurance programme administered by the Social Security Corporation (SSC), which covers all workers subject to the rules of the Labour Law regardless of their sex or nationalities ranging between 16 and 60 years old for males and 16 and 55 for females, as well as public employees not subject to civil or military retirement law, and Jordanians employed at foreign political, military or international mission in Jordan;
- a public program for the civil service and military which is currently being phased out;
- a publicly funded social assistance programme through the National Aid Fund (NAF);
- an assistance programme for Palestinian refugees delivered through the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA).
While social security still does not cover the whole population, Jordan is strongly committed to the extension of social security to all. In 2007, about 40% of the economically active population was covered in the pension system, which is partly explained by a lack of coverage for workers in small enterprises. A new temporary Social Security Law was adopted by the Council of Ministers in 2010 which provides for the extension of social insurance coverage for workers in small enterprises and agriculture. As a result, 51.5% of the economically active population and 57.4% of all employees were covered in 2010. The new temporary Social Security Law also introduced maternity insurance and unemployment insurance benefits.
Approximately 75-87% of the population is covered by some sort of health insurance (2011). Despite the availability of health insurance schemes, out of pocket health expenditure amounted to 25% of total health expenditure between 2007 and 2011.
The socio-demographic structure of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan is characterized by strong urbanization (82% of the population live in urban areas) and a large youth population (70% of which is under 30). Today, labour force participation rates are rather low, averaging only 49%, mainly due to a low, but growing, female labour force participation rate of 23%.