National Insurance Scheme

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The National Insurance Scheme (NIS) is a compulsory contributory funded social security scheme covering all employed persons in Jamaica. It is administered under the National Insurance Act and offers some financial protection to the worker and his or her family against loss of income arising from injury on the job, sickness, retirement and/or death of the bread winner.

 

 

All persons between the ages of 18 and 70 who are gainfully occupied in insurable employment are required to be registered with the NIS. The insurable population includes employed persons, self employed persons and voluntary contributors.

Employed Persons

Employed persons are those who work in a business, not their own. This category includes factory workers; private household workers such as butlers, chauffeurs, cooks, gardeners, general helpers, housekeepers and nurse-maids; and all other employed persons including civil servants, teachers, nurses and members of the security forces.

Self Employed Persons

Self employed persons are those who work independently in their own business. Included in this category are doctors, lawyers, accountants, consultants, vendors, Informal Commercial Importers, dressmakers, tailors, hairdressers, barbers, fisher folk, farmers and Jamaican nationals employed in foreign embassies in Jamaica. A total contribution of 5% of gross salary (up to the maximum insurable wage ceiling defined by the NIS) is to be remitted annually using the stamp card and income tax return.

Voluntary Contributors

These are persons who do not contribute as employed or self employed and/or are no longer liable to contribute because (i) they have retired from full time employment before reaching the retirement age, (ii) they have relocated to another country (with which Jamaica does not have a Reciprocal Social Security Agreement) for an indefinite period, and (iii) they have become unemployed. They however wish to continue contributing to the NIS. Approval must be sought through (a) the completion of the Voluntary Contributor Application Form and (b) its submission to the nearest Parish Office.

Employer

Registration: Employers are required to register his or her business under the NIS. A NIS reference number will be assigned and should be used in all matters relating to the NIS. Similarly, each employer should ensure that his or her employees are registered with the NIS.

SO 1 Form: This is the Employer’s Monthly Statutory Remittance Payroll Deduction form. Employers are required to complete this form when submitting statutory deductions on behalf of their employees. For NIS contributions, employers are to deduct 2.5% from the gross salary of each employee, up to the maximum wage ceiling defined by the NIS. These sums are to be matched by the employers and contributions remitted to Tax Administration Jamaica as required. It is to be noted that 1% of these contributions are for the National Health Fund.

Stamp Card: This card is used to make contributions to the NIS. It is used by persons classified as self employed, voluntary contributors and domestic workers in private households. This card is available at every NIS office and is valid for one financial year (April to March). NIS stamps can be purchased at Post Offices island-wide. They are to be affixed to the card, one stamp for each week, and the completed card is to be surrendered immediately after the end of the financial year.

SO 2 Form: This is the Employer’s Annual Return Form. It provides detailed information on all the employee payroll deductions made by the employer for all statutory deductions (NIS, National Housing Trust, Education Tax and Income Tax). All employers are required to complete and submit this form to Tax Administration Jamaica or the National Housing Trust.

Certificate of Pay and Contributions Deducted (C7): This form shows the gross salary, the number of weeks worked, total contributions from the individual employee and employer during the year. It is to be completed by employers and given to each employee at the end of the year.

Employee

Registration: Each person is required to register under the NIS on attaining the age of eighteen (18). This is done by completing and submitting an Application for National Insurance Number along with proof of age (birth certificate, passport) to the Parish Office. In turn, a registration card is issued showing the applicant’s NIS number and name. Ensure that the correct NIS number is used on all relevant documents at the workplace and also when conducting transactions with NIS offices.

Contributions: A total of 2.5% of gross salary, up to the maximum insurable wage ceiling defined by the NIS, is to be deducted by your employer. This amount is to be matched by your employer and the total submitted to Tax Administration Jamaica. Each employee may contact any NIS Parish Office at least once per year to ensure that the employer has remitted the contributions deducted and submitted the Annual Returns.

Contributions paid to the NIS are invested by the National Insurance Fund (NIF) in real estate, money and equity markets. NIS benefits and administrative expenses are paid from these funds. The Ministry of Labour and Social Security has responsibility for the collection of contributions and the administration of benefits under the Scheme.

A number of benefits are administered under the NIS. In order to qualify for any of these benefits the relevant conditions must be satisfied. These benefits are paid in the form of a pension or a grant. They are payable on a long or short-term basis.

Maternity Allowance: This benefit is payable to a Domestic Worker who has satisfied the qualifying conditions. The benefit is payable as a lump sum equal to eight weeks at the existing National Minimum Wage.

Special Child Benefit: This benefit is payable to the guardian of a child or children under the age of 18 whose mother is now deceased and the father’s whereabouts is unknown. The mother’s contribution is used to determine qualification for this benefit.

Orphan Benefit: This benefit is payable to the guardian of a child or children under the age of 18 whose parents were married or in an established common law relationship, and are now deceased. The contribution of either parent is used to determine qualification for this benefit.

Emplon the joboyment Injury Benefit: This benefit is payable where an employee has sustained an injury caused by an accident, arising out of and in the course of insurable employment, or the development of any of the diseases prescribed by the National Insurance Act which can be attributed to the nature of the job.

Employment Injury Disablement Benefit: This benefit is payable at the end of the Employment Injury period, where a disability assessment in excess of 10% has been diagnosed by the Medical Board of the NIS.

Employment Injury Death Benefit: This benefit is payable upon the death of an employee as a result of an accident arising out of and in course of insurable employment, or from any of the diseases prescribed by the National Insurance Act which can be attributed to the nature of the job.

Invalidity Benefit: This benefit is payable to a contributor who has satisfied the contribution conditions and has been diagnosed with a permanent medical condition that renders him/her incapable of work for a continuous period of at least twenty-six (26) weeks. On attaining the retirement age, this benefit will be converted to a retirement pension.

Retirement Pension: The contributor must attain the retirement age defined by the National Insurance Act and satisfy the contribution requirements. This benefit is payable during the life of the pensioner.

Spouse Allowance: This benefit is only payable to a pensioner whose spouse is not in receipt of a benefit under the NIS nor will become eligible for a benefit. It is not a separate pension, but is payable as an additional sum to a pensioner who has satisfied the requirement for this allowance.

Widow’s/Widower’s Benefit: This benefit is payable to the spouse of a deceased NIS contributor or pensioner. The payment of this benefit can be either for the short-term (one year or more) or long-term (for the life of the beneficiary) depending on the qualifying conditions.

Special Anniversary: This benefit is payable to persons who were born before January 1, 1908 and were not eligible to contribute to the NIS on the basis of their age at the inception of the scheme in 1966.

Funeral Grant: This benefit is payable upon the death of (i) a NIS pensioner or his/her spouse: or, (ii) a NIS contributor who has satisfied the required contribution conditions or his/her spouse; or, (iii) an employee whose death was as a result of injuries sustained in insurable employment.

Grant: A grant is a one-time payment and is awarded when the contribution conditions for a pension are not satisfied. Grants are payable in the categories of retirement, widow’s/widower’s, special child, orphan and invalidity.

NI Gold: This is a health insurance plan which provides comprehensive medical coverage for all NIS pensioners. Once a pension is awarded the pensioner automatically qualifies for coverage under this plan. No premium is paid by the pensioner to access this benefit.

All claims or applications are to be made on the prescribed National Insurance Claim Form and submitted with the relevant supporting documents within the required time frame. All forms are available free of cost at our offices island wide and online.

National Insurance Clearance Letter Requirements

Employer/Business

  1. Stamped copy/ies of National Insurance Annual Returns(s) for previous year(s)
  2. Receipt(s) for past year(s)
  3. Current National Insurance Receipt(s) from Inland Revenue Department.
  4. National Insurance Remittance Card (Payment Card)
  5. Employer’s Registration Form (N.B. New Business, Duplicate)
  6. Original and Photocopy of Certificate of Incorporation (New Business)

 

Self-employed/Individual

  1. National Insurance Number (Pink Card)
  2. Current Stamp Card with National Insurance Stamps affixed
  3. Assessed Copy of personal Income Tax Return(s)
  4. Passport/Birth Certificate
  5. Receipt(s) for Stamps Card(s) surrendered for previous year(s)
  6. Current pay-slip(s) and letter from employer confirming employment if also employed
  7. Letter signed by Justice of the Peace certifying unemployment status
  8. Documents for item(s) to be cleared.

The contributions rate has increased from 5% to 5.5% effective April 1, 2019 and will be increased from 5.5% to 6% effective April 1, 2020.

  • Of the 5.5% as of April 2019, 2.75% is to be deducted from the employee’s salary and matched by the employer.
  • Self-employed persons are to contribute the full 5.5%
  • Of the 6% as at April 2020, 3% is to be deducted from the employee gross salary and matched by the employers. Self-employed persons are to contribute the full 6% as at April 2020.

 Effective April 2019, with a contribution rate of 5% for January to March 2019 and 5.5% for April to December 2019, the Maximum contribution for 2019 will be $80,625. The Contribution Ceiling Breakdown is as follows:

January 2019 - March 2019 (5%)

 Maximum SalaryEmployee ContributionEmployer ContributionTotal Contribution
Weekly: $28,846.00$721.15 $721.15 $1,442.30
Fortnightly:$57,692.00$1,442.30$1,442.30$2,884.60
Monthly:$125,000.00$3,125.00$3,125.00$6,250.00

April 2019 - December 2019 (5.5%)

 Maximum SalaryEmployee ContributionEmployer ContributionTotal Contribution
Weekly:$28,846.00$793.27 $793.27 $1,586.54
Fortnightly:$57,692.00$1,586.53$1,586.53$3,173.06
Monthly:$125,000.00$3,437.50$3,437.50$6,875.00

 

Effective April 2020, with a contribution rate of 5.5% for January to March 2020 and 6% for April to December 2019, the Maximum contribution for 2020 will be $88,125. The Contribution Ceiling Breakdown is as follows:

January 2020 - March 2020 (5.5%)

 Maximum SalaryEmployee ContributionEmployer Contribution Total Contribution
Weekly:$28,846.00$793.27 $793.27 $1,586.54
Fortnightly: $57,692.00 $1,586.53$1,586.53$3,173.06
Monthly:$125,000.00 $3,437.50$3,437.50$6,875.00

April 2020 - December 2020 (6%)

 Maximum SalaryEmployee ContributionEmployer Contribution Total Contribution
Weekly:$28,846.00$865.38$865.38$1730.76
Fortnightly: $57,692.00 $1,730.76$1,730.76$3,461.52
Monthly:$125,000.00 $3,750.00$3,750.00$7,500.00

 

The contribution rate for Domestic Workers, Voluntary Contributors and Self-Employed Persons will be increased from $100 to $150 per week with effect from January 1, 2019, from $150 to $200 per week with effect from January 1, 2020 and from $200 to $250 per week with effect from January 1, 2021.

PHASED INCREASE In Contribution To The National Insurance Scheme

PARTICULARS20182019202020212022
Minimum Contribution$100 per weekJanuary: $150 per weekJanuary: $200 per weekJanuary: $250 per weekTo be determined in 2021
Contribution Rate5%April: 5.5%April: 6% April: 6% (no change)April: 6% (no change)
Insurance Wage Ceiling Per Annum$1.5 Million$1.5 Million (no change)$1.5 Million (no change)April: $3 MillionApril: $5 Million

 

Total Stamp Card amount are as follows:

 

April 2018-March 2019                                                        Total Weeks              Total Contributions

April 2, 2018 – December 31, 2018 @ $100 weekly                  40 Weeks                     $4,000

January 7, 2019 – March 25, 2019 @150 weekly                       12 Weeks                      $1,800

$5,800

 

January 2019 – December 2019                                          Total Weeks              Total Contributions

January 7, 2019 – December 30, 2019 @ 150 weekly                  52 Weeks                      $7,800

 

January 2020 – December 2020                                           Total Weeks              Total Contributions

January 6, 2020 – December 28, 2020 @ 200 weekly                52 Weeks                      $10,400

 

January 2021 –  December 2021                                          Total Weeks              Total Contributions

January 4, 2021 – December 27, 2021 @ 250 weekly                  52 Weeks                       $13,000

The following National Insurance Scheme (NIS) benefits have been increased with effect from April 1, 2018.

Category of BenefitPrevious Weekly RateNew Weekly Rate
Old Age, Invalidity &
Widow’s/Widower’s Pension
• Full Rate$2,800$3,400
• 3/4 Rate$2,100$2,550
• 1/2 Rate$1,400$1,700
Maternity Allowance
(Domestic Workers)
$6,200$7,000

Type of GrantPrevious GrantNew Grant
Funeral Grant$80,000$90,000

(Effective August 1, 2018)

Funeral Grant Application

Download NIS Forms

National Insurance Scheme Act and Regulation

Click on the documents below to read: