Push for Social Security in Indonesia

Posted: January 26, 2011 in Economic Development, Indonesia
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By Dela Feby, Trade Union Rights Centre

Indonesia, since its independence in 1945, has not ever had a social security system. In 2004 the idea of national social security was discussed and the Indonesian parliament of the time enacted Law Act number 40 year 2004 on National Social Security System.

The spirit of this law is, mainly, to create a social security system which applies to all Indonesians without limitation and discrimination because, at present, social security in Indonesia is limited to people who contribute to Jamsostek, Taspen, Asabri, and Askes.

  • Jamsostek is social protection only for private sector workers in the formal sector, and consists of accident/worker injury benefits, health care benefits, retirement benefits, and death benefits.
  • Taspen is social insurance and retirement saving only for civil servants, while Asabri only for members of the armed forces and police. The last is Askes, insurance that provide health care for civil servants including armed forces and police.

The national social security system under Act number 40 year 2004 offered more comprehensive benefits, consisting of: workers disability benefits, health care, pension benefits, retirement benefits, and death benefits. It is meant to cover all Indonesian workers, not only in the formal sector, but also in the informal and self employed sector (domestic workers, migrant workers, etc). And the priority, over the other social security benefits, is National Health care insurance that will be portable for all Indonesian people. Contributions can be made by employers or employees or by the Government for those too poor or otherwise unable contribute.

Despite the law existing, the system is not yet implemented so far; the Government has neglected to issue procedural regulations mandated by the act. Seeing the situation, Komite Aksi Jaminan Sosial or KAJS (Social Security Action Committee), an organization initiated by the Indonesian trade union movement, is calling on the Government to implement this system.

KAJS was established in March 2010 and this committee includes trade unions, unions of farmers and fishermen, domestic workers union, migrant worker unions, urban poor organizations, human rights organizations, etc. The majority of union members are represented in this committee, including three of the four existing Indonesian National Confederations. Initiative comes from the unions because since the year 2008, trade unions, especially the Metals Federation (affiliated to the IMF FSMPI = Int’l Metal Workers Federation) have sought activation of the Social Security Provider Board. This board, according to Act number 40, is intended as a motor implementing of the social security system in Indonesia.

This Provider Board is proposed to be a trust fund, the emphasis on the concept on benefits to participants and tripartite supervision by government, employers and employees.

TURC was involved in the formation of the KAJS and later involved in the national presidium, and actively involved in facilitating the Committee as well later on in representing the union and the Indonesian people in general to take a citizen lawsuit against the President and Spokeperson of the Parliament,  and eight related Ministries for the negligence and lack of commitment in impelementing the Law in the contrary of the Indonesian constitution. Especially for their negligence to implement a social security system in Indonesia based on the Law number 40, since 2004.

TURC supports this movement because the issue of social security is important not only for workers but for all Indonesian people who are so often are excluded from access to social welfare particularly health care. In our opinion, this issue is also capable of uniting workers at both the national and local level. Indeed, three of the four National Trade Union Confederations are included here. Besides, this is an issue on which unions have played a significant role in policy development in Indonesia.


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