Rivermate | Bermuda flag


Benefits and Entitlements Overview

Learn about mandatory and optional employee benefits in Bermuda

Mandatory benefits

In Bermuda, a range of mandatory employee benefits are offered, ensuring a minimum level of security and compensation for workers. These benefits are mandated by various laws, including the Employment Act and the Contributory Pensions Act.

Social Security

Bermuda operates a contributory social security system. This program provides benefits like disability benefits, survival benefits for spouses, and old age pensions. Both employers and employees contribute to the Department of Social Insurance, with the current mandatory contribution being $64.14 per week, split between the employer and employee.

Private Pension

Bermuda also has a mandatory private pension scheme. This scheme requires contributions towards a Contributory Pensions Fund for every Bermudian or spouse of a Bermudian who works more than 720 hours per year (4-6 months). The total contribution is currently 10%, with a maximum of 5% being deducted from the employee's salary.

Additional Mandatory Benefits

Beyond these core benefits, Bermuda also mandates various leave entitlements and other protections for employees. These include:

  • Paid Vacation Leave: A minimum of two weeks for the first year of employment, increasing by two weeks for every subsequent year.
  • Public Holidays: Paid time off for all public holidays.
  • Sick Leave: Eight days of paid sick leave annually, with pay guaranteed for the first two consecutive days.
  • Maternity Leave: Up to 13 weeks of paid maternity leave after one year of employment.
  • Paternity Leave: Five days of paid paternity leave.
  • Notice Period: A required notice period for termination of employment, depending on length of service.
  • Severance Pay: In some cases, severance pay may be required by law.

Optional benefits

In Bermuda, many companies offer additional perks to attract and retain top talent, going beyond the mandatory benefits.

Enhanced Health Insurance

Employers may offer health insurance plans that exceed the minimum Standard Hospital Benefit requirements. These plans can cover a wider range of medical services, including:

  • Major Medical Insurance: Provides coverage for hospitalization, surgery, specialist care, and other significant medical expenses.
  • Dental and Vision Care: Covers costs associated with dental and vision checkups, cleanings, and procedures.
  • Overseas Medical Coverage: Provides financial support for medical care received outside of Bermuda, particularly valuable for international employees or those requiring specialized treatment unavailable locally.

Wellness Programs and Gym Memberships

Many companies in Bermuda offer programs or benefits that promote healthy lifestyles. This can include:

  • On-site Gyms: Access to company-owned or subsidized gym facilities encourages physical activity during or after work hours.
  • Wellness Programs: These programs may offer health screenings, fitness challenges, or educational workshops to promote healthy habits and disease prevention.

Additional Time Off Benefits

Some employers provide additional paid leave beyond the minimum mandated amounts. This can include:

  • Extended Vacation Leave: Companies may offer more generous vacation leave policies, allowing employees more time for personal travel and relaxation.
  • Personal Leave Days: Paid days off that can be used for unforeseen circumstances or personal errands.
  • Sick Leave Top-Up: Employers may cover the full cost of an employee's salary for sick leave days, exceeding the two-day minimum guaranteed by law.

Financial Benefits

Certain companies might offer financial benefits beyond base salary to enhance employee compensation packages. These could include:

  • Performance Bonuses: Financial rewards tied to achieving specific job targets or exceeding expectations.
  • Profit Sharing: Programs that allow employees to share in the company's profits, fostering a sense of ownership and rewarding overall company success.
  • Company Car or Car Allowance: Providing a vehicle for work purposes or offering an allowance to assist with personal transportation costs.

Other Potential Perks

The range of additional benefits offered by Bermuda employers can be quite diverse. Here are some other examples you might encounter:

  • Life Insurance: Providing life insurance coverage for employees can offer financial security for their families in the event of their death.
  • Employee Discount Programs: Offering employees discounts on products or services from partner companies.
  • Educational Assistance: Helping employees pursue further education by providing tuition reimbursement or other educational support programs.

Health insurance requirements

In Bermuda, health insurance coverage is a mandatory requirement for all employees and their non-working spouses. This system is designed to provide a basic level of healthcare security for workers and their families.

Standard Hospital Benefit

The Health Insurance Act in Bermuda mandates that all employees must be covered under a minimum health insurance plan known as the Standard Hospital Benefit. This plan forms the basis of health insurance coverage in Bermuda and is included in all private health insurance plans offered by insurers.

The Standard Hospital Benefit covers a variety of in-patient medical services, including:

  • Hospital room and board charges
  • Necessary surgery fees
  • Physician fees associated with in-patient hospital care
  • Medications administered during a hospital stay
  • Some ambulance services

Employers in Bermuda are required to cover at least half the cost of the Standard Hospital Benefit for their employees.

Beyond the Standard Benefit

While the Standard Hospital Benefit provides a solid foundation, many employers offer private health insurance plans that exceed the minimum requirements. These plans can provide more comprehensive coverage, including:

  • Major Medical Insurance: This covers a wider range of medical services beyond hospitalization, such as specialist care, out-patient services, and prescription drugs.
  • Dental and Vision Care: This covers costs associated with dental and vision checkups, cleanings, and procedures.
  • Overseas Medical Coverage: This provides financial support for medical care received outside of Bermuda, particularly valuable for international employees or those requiring specialized treatment unavailable locally.

The extent to which an employer offers coverage beyond the Standard Hospital Benefit will vary depending on the company and its specific plan.

Retirement plans

Bermuda's approach to retirement planning is two-pronged, combining a mandatory private pension scheme with the option for employers to provide additional retirement benefits.

Mandatory Private Pension Scheme

Bermuda's mandatory private pension scheme is established under the National Pension Scheme (Occupational Pensions) Act 1998. This scheme necessitates contributions towards a Contributory Pensions Fund for most Bermudian employees and spouses of Bermudians who work more than 720 hours per year.

Mandatory Contributions:

  • Total Contribution: The current rate is set at 10% of an employee's pensionable earnings.
  • Contribution Split: Contributions are typically split between employer and employee, with a maximum of 5% being deducted from the employee's salary. However, some employers may choose to contribute a higher percentage or cover the entire employee contribution.

Key Points about the Mandatory Scheme:

  • Managed by Pension Providers: The Contributory Pensions Fund is managed by approved pension providers, offering a degree of choice and flexibility for members.
  • Vesting Period: There's typically a vesting period before employees have full access to their pension contributions.
  • Retirement Age: The normal retirement age under the scheme is no later than one year after a member reaches 65 years old.

Optional Employer-Sponsored Retirement Benefits

Some employers in Bermuda offer additional retirement benefits to their employees. These benefits can take various forms, including:

  • Defined Benefit Plans: These plans promise a specific retirement income based on factors like salary and years of service. However, defined benefit plans are less common in Bermuda compared to defined contribution plans.
  • Voluntary Defined Contribution Plans: These plans allow employees to contribute additional funds on a pre-tax basis, potentially with employer matching contributions. This approach encourages employees to save more for retirement and can benefit from tax advantages.

The availability and specifics of these optional retirement benefits will vary depending on the company and its benefit philosophy.

Rivermate | A 3d rendering of earth

Hire your employees globally with confidence

We're here to help you on your global hiring journey.