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The NSSF introduced its branches in stages. For instance, the Sickness and Maternity Care branch was not put into action until November 1, 1970 while the Work-related Emergencies and Diseases branch is yet to be initiated- although the Fund has celebrated its 50th year in operation.

Branches of NSSF

Lebanon’s NSSF is composed of three branches:

  • Sickness and Maternity Care branch, including the optional insurance coverage which came to light in 2002, but failed to fulfill its purpose and fell in a steep fiscal deficit that entailed the halting of its services every now and then.
  • Family and Educational Allowances branch.
  • End-of-service Indemnities branch, which was initiated temporarily as a first step towards the transition into a complete retirement and social protection plan.

Management

The NSSF board of directors consists of 26 members, 6 of whom represent the government, 10 representing employers and 10 members speaking in the name of the diverse workforce committees. The board members are appointed by decree for a three-year term of office. By convention, the presidency of the board is awarded to a Maronite member of the 6 state representatives. Currently, Dr. Toubia Khazia acts as President of Board. A Director General appointed by a decree and belonging to the Shia’a community runs the NSSF. Dr. Mohamad Karaki has assumed this responsibility since January 2002.

Registered Institutions

The number of institutions registered in the NSSF has reached 51,794 until the end of 2012. 85% or 44,176 of those employ from 1 to 10 employees; 4877 institutions have between 11 and 30 employees; 1323 employ a staff ranging between 31 to 60 employees; 597 institutions have a workforce ranging between 61 and 100 staff and the remaining 821 institutions hire over 100 people.

If we were to divide these institutions as per the nature of businesses they undertake, a majority of 16,601 institutions would fall under the category of trading establishments, followed by 5937 agencies providing public services.

Insured and Beneficiaries

Those subscribed to the NSSF amounted to 593,802 members by the end of 2012 compared to 428,692 in 2001, up by 165,110 subscribers or 38.5%. The insured benefitting from the NSSF services include:

  • Employees in public and private sectors: 439,747
  • University students: 56,792
  • Taxi drivers: 40,679
  • Teachers: 33,477
  • Physicians: 7016
  • Optional subscribers: 12,782
  • Mukhtars: 2091
  • Workers in the bakery industry: 1081
  • Fishermen: 91
  • Newspaper vendors: 46

Another 728,944 members are covered as beneficiaries or dependents:

  • Children: 426,808
  • Spouses: 205,651
  • Parents: 96,485

Hence, the total number of members covered by the NSSF would add up to 1, 322 746, accounting for 34% of the Lebanese population.

By age groups, subscribers and beneficiaries are distributed as follows:

  • Under 20 years of age: 427,714 members or 32.2%
  • Between 20 and 40 years of age: 425,992 members or 32.2%
  • Between 41 and 60 years of age: 313,053 members or 23.7%
  • Above 60 years of age: 155,990 members or 11.8%

Contracts signed with the NSSF

The number of both individuals and institutions that entered into contracts with the Fund had reached 16,287 in September 2012. They are distributed as follows:

  • Physicians: 10,995
  • Pharmacies: 2780
  • Physiotherapists: 1393
  • Physiotherapy centers: 173
  • Laboratories: 433
  • Hospitals: 142
  • Radiology centers: 220
  • Obstetrics: 83
  • Hearing therapists: 32
  • Prosthetic therapists: 31
  • Specialists in medical footwear: 5

Financial status

The financial deficit at the National Social Security Fund has been growing year after year due to five major reasons:

  • The government is partly in default on its NSSF contributions, which include the subscription fees owed to the Fund by municipalities and certain public servants and 25% of the Sickness and Maternity Care expenses.
  • The 2001 decrease in subscription fees rates from 38.5% to 23.5%. Currently, the rates are distributed as follows: 8.5% of the monthly salary is due to the End-of-service Indemnities branch, which is the only branch not sustaining losses; 6% of the monthly salary up to LBP 1,500 000 are due to the Family and Educational Allowances branch, down from 15% previously; and 9% of the monthly salary- 2% by the insured and 7% by the employer- up to LBP 2,500 000 are contributed to the Sickness and Maternity Care branch. The cap was LBP 1,500 000 before January 2012. The purpose of this deduction was to encourage employers to declare the real size of their workforce and salaries of their staff, which unfortunately did not happen.
  • The increasing cost of hospitalization and healthcare, the significant rise in drug prices in the past few years and the diminished supervision on medical practices and hospital bills.
  • Enrolling new segments in the NSSF like the Mukhtars who were registered in 2000 and the physicians registered in 2001, in addition to the optional insurance coverage initiated in 2001.
  • The increase in the NSSF administrative costs, which has grown to around LBP 106 billion annually due to the pay hikes and benefits granted to employees.

Currently, the financial outlook differs from one branch to the other. Table 1 below illustrates the financial situation in all three NSSF branches at the end of 2011. (Amounts in LBP Billion.)

Financial outlook of the NSSF branches

Table 1

Revenues and Expenses

End-of-service Indemnities branch

Sickness and Maternity Care branch

Family and Educational Allowances branch

Subscription fees

561,5

495,8

288,6

State contributions

67,8

80,7

The state does not contribute to this branch

Interest

486

-

-

Total revenues

1115,3

576,5

288,6

Services to the insured

257,5

554,7

271,9

Administrative costs

32,7

72,8*

56*

Total Expenses

290,2

627,5

327,9

Outcome

825,1

(51)

(29,3)

Financial status on 31-12-2011

7893,6

(438,8)

(379,7)

Source: NSSF official website

* (including LBP 29,7 billion interest expenses on debt)

* (including LBP 26 billion interest expenses on debt)



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