On February 4, 2022, the Minister of Manpower Regulation (Permenaker) Number 2 of 2022 was issued regarding the Procedures and Requirements for Payment of Old-Age Security (JHT). This regulation simultaneously revokes the Minister of Manpower Regulation Number 19 of 2015 concerning Procedures and Requirements for Payment of Old-Age Security Benefits.
Old-Age Benefits (JHT) is a cash benefit that is paid at once when the participant reaches retirement age, passes away, or suffers from permanent total disability.
The participants are everyone, including foreigners, who have worked for a minimum of six months in Indonesia and have paid contributions.
Previously, blue-collar workers could easily disburse JHT benefits by coming to the Employment Social Security (BPJS Ketenagakerjaan) office or processing it online, when they resigned or were laid off.
However, in the latest regulations that take effect from April 2022, it is emphasized that JHT benefits can only be disbursed when participants reach the age of 56 or enter the retirement period.
This provision also applies if the workers stop working due to resignation; are affected by layoffs; and leave the territory of Indonesia forever.
As a result, former formal workers must patiently wait until the retirement age of 56 years to be able to use their JHT benefits. Unless a former worker has a permanent disability—as proved by a certificate from an examining doctor and/or a advisory doctor advisor, they can disburse the JHT benefits without having to wait for retirement age.
Meanwhile, for participants who pass away, the heirs can claim the JHT benefits by attaching the required documents as follows:
- BPJS Ketenagakerjaan Card,
- Death certificate from a doctor or authorized official,
- Certificate of an heir from the authorized official or letter of determination of heir from the court,
- Identity Card (KTP) or other proof of identity of the heirs; and
- Family Card
If there are no supporting documents, the heirs may lose their JHT benefits and the JHT benefits will be returned to the Property and Heritage Agency according to the provisions of the legislation.
This policy of the Minister of Manpower then provoked protests from workers and social observers because it was considered not pro-worker. They argue that JHT benefits are workers' rights that are used as business capital or to support their family while they are unemployed or looking for a new job.
There are also those who suspect that this policy was issued in order to save the BPJS Ketenagakerjaan balance sheet, which is threatened by a crisis amidst massive layoffs and the rise of JHT claims in recent years.
As of the article was published, petitions against the Ministry of Manpower's new policy were increasingly echoed on various social media.
However, there are also parties who consider that the new Minister of Manpower's policy is reasonable. According to them, the new JHT provisions teach workers to be more patient until they enter retirement. Hopefully, this patience can bear a smile on their retirement day. Of course, if the worker concerned has a long life. The question is, who will smile in the end? BPJS Ketenagakerjaan or its participants? Just for the record, no one can guess the age of a person other than God The Almighty.
*The writer Kiki Amarully Utami, Partner of MUC Attorney at Law
*The article was published in Kumparan.com, on 14 February 2022