Full text: Iceland 1930

Though Social Insurance of any kind may be said to be still in its 
infancy in Iceland, some activities have already been commenced in 
that field. 
Old Age Insurance. As early as 1890 relief funds were established 
in all municipalities and parishes, the object being to give assistance 
to poor people who by reason of old age were no longer able to 
provide for themselves. The law prescribed for all domestics and 
lausafélk (i. e. workers, not in service) belween 20 and 60 the lia- 
bility to make small annual contributions to the funds which during 
the first years were placed at interest. After a time pensions began 
to be granted to poor persons (over 60) included in the insurance 
scheme without its involving any civil disabilities for the recipients. 
But as these pensions were so small as to be of practically no use 
at all, an act was passed in 1909, under which conlribution was made 
obligatory for all men and women between 18 and 60, the fee pay- 
able by each person somewhat raised, and a State grant prescribed 
for the funds corresponding to the number of those liable to pay. 
Exempted from paying were those in receipt of poor relief; those 
who had children or other dependants to provide for; those who were 
unable to earn wages; and those who were otherwise insured (as 
e. g. State officials). By a law of 1917 the contribution was increased 
fo two krénur per every male and one kréna per every female in- 
cluded in the scheme, while the government grant was fixed at one 
kréna per every person liable to pay. The sums annually distributed 
are: two-thirds of the premiums paid, one-half of the State grant, ‘and 
half the interest. Pensions are granted on application to persons over 
60 years of age who for the last five years have not been reci- 
pients of poor relief and who by reason of old age cannot provide 
for themselves. Under special circumstances pensions *may also be 
granted to invalids under 60 years of age. The pensions granted range 
in amount from 20 to 200 krénur. 
At the end of 1927 the Old Age Insurance Funds amounted to 1028 
thousand krénur; the number of persons covered by the insurance 
was 45000, corresponding to about 44 per cent. of the population; 
the number of pensions granted was some 2500: and the amount 
distributed, 93 thousand krénur. 
Accident Insurance. Accidents are very common in Iceland, espe- 
cially deaths by drowning among fishermen (see page 16. It is there

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