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National Insurance Scheme

NIS is a National Insurance Scheme governed by the Ministry of Labour and Social Security. It is a compulsory contributory funded social security scheme, offering financial protection to employees and their families, in case of loss of earnings through an injury at work, incapacity, retirement or death of the insured. The benefits are realised in many ways and what you pay go towards covering costs such as anniversary pensioners, employment injury benefits, funeral grants, the invalided, maternity allowance, orphans, retired, children with special needs, widows/widowers and the NI Gold Plan (A health care programme for pensioners, effective from December 2003, covering Doctors visits, prescriptions, hospital stay, diagnostic/dental/optical services and surgeons fees).

Costs

Employed people; All employees aged between 18-70 (65 for women) must contribute and each employee must have a N.I.S. number, regardless of full or part time work, or on a probationary period.

In adherence to the 'insurable wage ceiling', stipulated in the National Insurance Act, calculations are derived from a portion of earnings. The 'insurable wage ceiling' is currently $1,500,000.00 per annum. No additional deduction is made on any amount above this figure.

The contribution rate is 5% and includes a National Health Fund contribution of 1%. Employers match employee contributions i.e. 2½ % is paid by the employee and 2½% by the employer.

However, domestic workers make contributions by affixing a $100.00 NIS stamp to Stamp Cards, costing the employer and employee $50 a week.

N.I.S. contributions are due by the 14th day of the following month. e.g. contributions for the month of January must be paid by the 14th day of February.

Annual Return forms (SO2 Form) must be handed in directly to any Tax Office or NHT Office and are due by the 31st of March of the following year. The filing of Annual Returns can be done whether or not payment of contributions has been made.

An employee has the right to see their own N.I.S. record and can take legal action if denied a pension benefit, because of non-payment of contributions.

Self-employed includes own business, including barbers, contractors, doctors, dressmakers, farmers, fisherfolks, hairdressers, higglers, informal commercial importers and Jamaican nationals working in foreign embassies in Jamaica. People register by completing, an insured person's registration form (R2). The National Insurance Office then prepare a pink registration card (R5) and give it to either the insured person or the employer. The self-employed make contributions by affixing a $100.00 NIS Stamp Cards, sold at all Post offices and at the National Insurance Head Office, 14 National Heroes Circle.

Self -employed people with a gross annual income of $20,800 and over also pay 5% of this additional income as contribution on gross annual income, up to the maximum $1,500,000. You must obtain them from the National Insurance Office, purchase and affix stamps and surrender them to the National Insurance Office at the date of expiration.

Voluntary Contributors

Voluntary Contributors are insured people under retirement age who:

  1. have made a specified number of contributions as employed or self employed
  2. are no longer liable to contribute in either category
  3. wish to continue contributing to maintain their contribution record and
  4. have been granted written permission by the Minister.

Voluntary contributors whose gross annual income is $20,800 and over also pay 5% of this additional income as contribution. This 5% is payable on gross annual income up to a maximum of $1,500,000. You must obtain them from the National Insurance Office, purchase and affix stamps and surrender them to the National Insurance Office at the date of expiration.

How to Calculator NIS

Calculating NIS (National Insurance Scheme deductions) has never been easier, simply enter your income and other income(s) into the Jamaica Tax Calculator. The tax calculator will work out the taxes due and provides example calculations so you can understand how your NIS deductions are calculated.

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