The National Insurance Department is appealing to self-employed persons to make contributions to the National Insurance
Scheme (NIS) in order to secure their retirement funds.
Deputy Director of the National Insurance Scheme Jennifer Hunte told Barbados TODAY that only a fifth of the island’s business owners and self-employed persons are active clients of the NIS.
“Only 20 per cent of persons who are self-employed are actually actively reporting and paying national insurance so we really have to get that percentage increased that the benefits may be spread among everyone,” she said on the sidelines of the NIS Family Fun Day over the weekend.
With the national pensionable age expected to increase to 67 from January 2018, the NIS deputy director said it was imperative that people plan ahead for their future and reap the benefits owed to them by the NIS.
“Only when they reach pensionable age do they realize there is no pension for me, [and] we don’t want persons to wait until that time; we want them to plan for their future and that is why we are encouraging them to make their contributes because the benefits of national insurance are there for you,” Hunte stressed.
She added that some businesses were defaulting in their payments. Although the NIS official acknowledged the struggles the private sector was facing, she urged companies to take action before the situation escalated to the law courts.
“We are aware of the economic climate and therefore we always encourage any employer or self-employed person who is unable to meet their monthly commitments to us or quarterly commitments to come into our compliance department and set up an arrangement,” Hunte said.
“This is where the compliance section or head of the section will sit with them, review their particular circumstance and they will agree on how they will make these payments and sign off on a payment plan. We work directly with our customers, but we always encourage them to come in and make that agreement.”