Navigating Group Benefits Plans in Bermuda

Although Bermuda is a low tax jurisdiction, employees may be subject to certain deductions from pay for taxes and other benefits. The payroll tax must be paid in respect of every employee in Bermuda. In addition, by law, all employees must have contributions made on their behalf to the Bermuda Government’s Social Insurance plan and must have health insurance. Bermudian employees and the spouses of Bermudians must have a private pension plan. We have summarised these taxes and benefits below to assist new businesses that are opening an office.

Payroll Tax

Employers are responsible for paying the payroll tax which can be as much as 14.5 per cent of pay. The actual total depends on the size of the employer’s payroll and the employer category. Employers have the right to recover a maximum of 5.5 per cent of pay from an employee.

Government Social Insurance

If you work more than four hours a week, employers are required to make contributions to the Bermuda Government’s Department of Social Insurance in order to provide an old age pension, disability benefits and benefits for widows and widowers. Currently, the total contribution is $64.14 per week, which may be split equally between the employee and the employer.

Health Insurance

The Health Insurance Act 1970 requires all employed persons and their non-working spouses to have at least the minimum health insurance coverage known as the Standard Hospital Benefit. This is included in all private health insurance plans in Bermuda. Many employers also provide a much higher level of cover than required by law. Additional benefits will often include major medical insurance to cover overseas care (often in some of the world’s best hospitals on the eastern seaboard of the USA) as well as benefits to cover the cost of doctors’ visits, prescription drugs and annual physicals. Some plans also include vision care and dental insurance. Employers in Bermuda are required to cover half the cost of health insurance. The actual cost of a health insurance plan will depend on a number of factors including benefits and plan design.

Company pension plans

If you are Bermudian or married to a Bermudian your employer is required to establish a private pension plan with an approved pension administrator and to contribute to it on your behalf under the National Pension Scheme (Occupational Pensions) Act 1998. It is compulsory that 10 per cent of your gross salary be paid into the scheme, half of which must be paid by the employer.

DISCLAIMER: The content in this article is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.