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American Samoa

Benefits and Entitlements Overview

Learn about mandatory and optional employee benefits in American Samoa

Mandatory benefits

In American Samoa, certain benefits for employees are mandated by law. These benefits cannot be opted out of by employers or employees.

Employees accrue sick leave at a rate of four hours (half a workday) for every bi-weekly pay period, starting from their first paycheck. There's no waiting period to qualify for sick leave. The amount of annual leave an employee earns depends on their service tenure:

  • Less than 3 years: Four hours (half a workday) per bi-weekly pay period.
  • 3 to 15 years: Six hours (three-fourths of a workday) per bi-weekly pay period, except for the last full pay period of the year.

A standard workweek in American Samoa is 40 hours.

Public Holidays

Employees are entitled to paid time off for all federally recognized holidays in the United States.

Maternity Leave

There are no specific federal regulations mandating paid maternity leave in American Samoa. However, some employers might offer it as part of their benefits package.

Social Security

American Samoa participates in the U.S. Social Security program. This means employers are required to withhold Social Security taxes from employee wages and pay matching Social Security taxes themselves.

Overtime Pay

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) applies to American Samoa and mandates that employees who work more than 40 hours in a workweek must be compensated for overtime hours at a rate of one and a half times their regular hourly wage. This applies to most employees except those who are exempt under the FLSA.

This is not an exhaustive list, and it's always recommended to consult with legal counsel or the appropriate government agency for the latest information on mandatory employee benefits in American Samoa.

Optional benefits

In American Samoa, companies often provide additional perks to attract and retain talent in a competitive job market. Here's a breakdown of some commonly offered optional employee benefits in American Samoa:

Financial Security

Some employers provide life insurance as a benefit, offering financial security to the employee's family in case of death.

Work-Life Balance and Well-being

Flexible work arrangements are sometimes offered by employers in American Samoa. Due to its remote location, some employers might offer flexible work options, such as remote work opportunities or compressed workweeks, to enhance employee work-life balance.

Companies might offer performance-based bonuses or profit-sharing programs to incentivize employees and reward them for their contributions to the company's success.

Employers may offer educational assistance programs to help employees cover costs associated with continuing education or job-related training programs.

Some companies provide employee discounts on their products or services, or partner with other businesses to offer discounted rates on various goods or services.

Employers might offer on-site amenities like fitness centers, subsidized meals, or recreational facilities to promote employee well-being and create a more positive work environment.

This list is not exhaustive, and the specific benefits offered by employers in American Samoa can vary depending on the company size, industry, and overall benefit package. It's advisable to consult with the specific employer to understand their benefit offerings.

Health insurance requirements

In American Samoa, unlike some U.S. states, there is no mandate for employers to provide health insurance to their employees. However, health insurance is a significant factor in attracting and retaining talent, particularly given the limitations of the public healthcare system.

Employer-Sponsored Health Insurance

  • Not Mandatory: The American Samoa Government Department of Human Resources (ASG DHR) compliance guidelines focus on mandated benefits like paid time off and Social Security, but do not mention health insurance as a requirement.

  • Common Benefit: Despite not being mandatory, many employers in American Samoa offer health insurance as part of their benefits package. This can be crucial for employees seeking wider coverage compared to the public option.

Public Healthcare Option

  • Medicaid: American Samoa operates a Medicaid program funded through federal grants. This program provides health coverage to low-income residents, including pregnant women, children, elderly individuals, and people with disabilities.

Important Note: While Medicaid covers a broad range of services, there might be limitations compared to private plans offered by employers.

Retirement plans

Employees in American Samoa have access to a combination of social security and potential employer-sponsored or private retirement plans.

Social Security

American Samoa participates in the U.S. Social Security program, serving as the primary source of retirement income for most residents. Employers are required to withhold Social Security taxes from employee wages and pay matching Social Security taxes themselves, similar to the mainland U.S.

American Samoa Government Employees' Retirement Fund (ASGERF)

This defined benefit plan covers most employees of the American Samoa government. The retirement annuity is calculated based on a formula that considers the employee's highest average salary during a specific period (typically three or five years) multiplied by a percentage based on their years of service, up to a maximum benefit.

Private Retirement Plans

Some private companies might offer employer-sponsored retirement plans, similar to 401(k) plans in the U.S. These plans allow employees to contribute pre-tax salary toward their retirement savings, potentially with employer matching contributions. Employees can also choose to open Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) to save for retirement independently. These plans offer tax advantages on contributions and earnings depending on the IRA type.

Information on employer-sponsored retirement plans can vary depending on the specific company. It's recommended to consult with the employer's HR department for details on their retirement plan offerings.

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