A voice for men:

Pensions for women. Should a husband die, his occupational insurance (his highest salary per day multiplied by the years he worked) will be monthly paid to his wife as a salary for life, regardless of her being employed or not. No such law for men. Just FYI: occupational insurance is mandatory for all jobs.

In Iran, does a widow get her husband's occupational insurance as a monthly salary until she dies?


1 Answer 1


I believe the original claim is referring to the Iran's Social Security schemes as "mandatory occupational insurance".

(I'm worried this might be a bit of a leap in interpretation, but the schemes involved mandatory contributions for employees and offer insurance against injuries and deaths, including to surviving spouses, as I will show below, so it could been seen as "occupational insurance" if you weren't familiar with them.)

The Pension System in Iran: Challenges and Opportunities, from September 2003, provides a detailed overview of how social security works (worked?) in Iran.

There is a mandatory contribution of 33% (subject to conditions) from payroll to the Social Security Organisation [Ref: Section 3.2].

Table 5 includes a description of the "Survivor" pension:

Condition: Dependents of retirees or insurers who have contributed at least one year during the last 10 years and a positive amount during the last two years are allowed to receive a pension. Dependents of total disability pensioners if contributed 90 days during the last year.

Benefit: Spouse receives 50% of the pension; children 25% each; and parents 20%. The total cannot be above 100%. For insurers the pension is calculated at the time of death with the same rules as the normal retirement pension.

Financing: Financed by 21 percentage points out of the 33% contribution.

This refers to the normal retirement pension. That is calculated [Ref: Table 5] as:

For each contribution year, the insurer is entitled to 3.3% of his/her average wage during the last two years of work. The pension cannot represent more than 116% of this average. It cannot be below the minimum wage (set at Rhials 600,000 per month, or USD 80, in 2001 - today the minimum wage is Rhials 850,000 per month ). For individuals in hazardous jobs, each contribution year is worth 1.5 years.

From this we can conclude:

  • Yes, Iran does have schemes to ensure spouses and dependents continue to receive a pension income when the breadwinner of a family dies.

  • The confusing calculation provided by the original claimant doesn't seem to be used. A different confusing calculation is used.

  • While the document does mention some gender differences enshrined in the scheme, such as retirement ages and differences in the number of years of contribution to qualify for certain benefits, there is nothing in the document to suggest that suggests that survivor benefits aren't equally paid out to husbands as wives.

    • I see nothing here to support or refute the wider claims about patriarchy in Iran made in the original article.

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