FAQs - Contributions

 

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When did the increased contribution rates come into effect?

A new schedule of contribution rates was approved for the NIS of Trinidad and Tobago following the statutory 9th Actuarial Review of the NI System.  These changes took effect from March 4, 2013.

Are the contributions presently adequate to meet benefit demands?

Yes. However, future benefit expenditure is not 100%. Actuarial Reviews will continue to be conducted every 5 years to examine whether the level of contribution and investment income is adequate to meet benefit and administration obligations. It is expected that further increases in contributions will be required.

Does the employer still contribute twice that paid by the employee?

Yes. Also the employer alone pays class z contributions for unpaid apprentices, persons who are over 65 and still employed and persons in receipt of a retirement benefit and have returned to work.

What if my employer deducts, but does not remit contributions on my behalf to the Board?

Whether the employer makes the deduction is not even material.  You can visit the nearest NIBTT Service Centre and fill out the complaint form. The information provided would be kept under confidence and an investigation launched. Should our investigations reflect that he has failed to pay contributions due to the Board, he commits an offence. This offence carries a penalty of $4000 and 6 months imprisonment. The employer will now have to pay the outstanding contributions as well as the penalty.

What if I pay my contributions late?

Where payment is not made by the 15th of the month following the month for which contributions are due a penalty of 25% of the sum due will be charged to the employer.

If I am over age 60, but not yet 65, receiving a pension and (re)employed, do I have to pay contributions?

No. áAs of March 01, 2004, once you are over 60 years, receiving a retirement pension and have been re-employed on or after March 01, 2004, then your employer pays a contribution in class z for you.

What happens to the contributions paid during this period?

Person/employer who have overpaid contributions may apply in writing for a refund of contributions overpaid. The prescribed application form (NI 79) is used to apply for refunds. á

Can I pay in advance?

Yes you can. If however there is an increase in contribution rates, then the employer will have to remit the shortfall.

I am the sole proprietor of a business, can I pay for myself?

If the insured person is no longer engaged in insurable employment to maintain his contributions record during periods of unemployment, he may apply within 18 months of the date of cessation of insurable employment for a certificate of Voluntary Insurance. The insured must be between the ages of 16 and 60. This does not include self employed persons.

If I overpay contributions, will I get a refund?

Yes, once an application is received in writing on the prescribed form (NI 79).

If I employ temporary persons, do I have to deduct and pay contributions?

Yes. You must register them and pay contribution. It is now an offence to provide incomplete or inaccurate information of registration - the fine is $500. For registering himself or his employee(s) late, the employer is subject to another fine of $5000. á

Will self employed persons be required to contribute to the system now?

No. The system still does not yet cover the self employed.

Can I still pay voluntary contributions?

If the insured person is no longer engaged in insurable employment to maintain his contributions record during periods of unemployment, he may apply within 18 months of the date of cessation of insurable employment for a certificate of Voluntary Insurance. The insured must be between the ages of 16 and 60. This does not include self employed persons.

How do my old contributions relate to the new contribution and benefit structure?

All contributions made before March 01, 2004 have been re-valued. See the Contribution and Benefit Tables for further information.

If I work for 2 hours at $80 per week, are contributions payable?

If you were employed or eligible to be registered in such employment as at February 29, 2004 and continued to be employed by the same employer on or after March 01, 2004. áIn such a case, contributions are payable in Class 1. However, if you were not employed or eligible to be registered before March 01 2004, then earnings under $100.00 per week would not be insurable and contributions would not be required.

Where a wife is employed by her husband, can National Insurance be paid on her behalf?

With effect from May 3, 1999 a wife working for her husband must be registered with the National Insurance System and contributions must be remitted to the system on her behalf.

Can I submit my employees’ data on diskette every month?

Yes, in the format prescribed by the Board. See Employee Contributions on Electronic Media or contact 625 – 2177 Ext: 407/408 for more information.

When does interest and penalty take effect?

A penalty of 25% of the sum due is applied from the 16th of the month following the month of which contributions were due. Interest rate of 15% per annum is applied to the outstanding sum.

Does the board have any power of garnishment?

Yes. This power will be used to recover unpaid contributions and any penalties or interest imposed.

Will government and state departments be subjected to interest and penalty impositions?

Yes. The act binds the state.

Can the Board waive the penalty charge for late payment of contributions?

No. The penalty cannot be waived for any reason if the payment is late. The legislation gives no such power or discretion to the Board.