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Expats to be forced to join Jamsostek
The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

All expatriates in the country not covered by social security schemes will soon be required to join programs provided by state insurance company PT Jamsostek, the labor minister says.

Minister of Manpower and Transmigration Fahmi Idris said on Thursday it would soon become compulsory for all expatriates working in the country who were not covered to apply.

"The program for expatriates is based on an International Labor Organization (ILO) Convention stating that social security schemes are part of workers' basic rights and must be upheld regardless of status, ethnicity or nationality," Fahmi was quoted by Antara as saying after a meeting with Jamsostek's executives here.

He said Jamsostek and individual companies who had foreigners on their payrolls would have to make amicable financial arrangements so participation in the social security schemes would not unduly burden the companies.

Fahmi said he had written to local branches of manpower agencies, Jamsostek, the Indonesian Employers Association (Apindo) and the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KADIN), notifying them about the program.

The minister said the scheme would first target expatriates who had just arrived in the country and started working here.

"For those who have been working here for sometime and joined social security schemes other than Jamsostek, they are free to stay with these programs until they expire. Afterwards, if they still remain in the country and continue working here, they must join a Jamsostek scheme," Fahmi said.

Jamsostek has three schemes available for expatriates on offer: work injury insurance, life insurance, and a pension fund.

Expatriates' premiums could be paid out at any time before they left the country, he said.

In April, then-minister of manpower and transmigration Jacob Nuwa Wea issued a Ministerial Decree No. 67/2004 to revive the 1995 decree requiring all expatriates in Indonesia to enroll in a social security program.

The original decree was lifted in 1999, as the government found most of expatriates had already been registered with similar -- and often more comprehensive -- social security programs in their workplaces, often from their home countries.

Earlier, Jamsostek president Achmad Djunaidi said the company was targeting more than 1.5 million Indonesians employed overseas to join its social security programs.

Jamsostek current assets reach Rp 33 trillion (US$3.6 billion) collected from 23 million workers. It reported a net profit of Rp 2.55 trillion from its investments in the first nine months of this year.

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