JIS News

More than 55,000 contributors have received refunds with interest from the National Housing Trust (NHT) over the past six months, under its contribution refunds drive.
Under this thrust, contributors can receive payment under the entity’s Regular and Special Refund Programmes.
Contribution Refunds Manager at the NHT’s Corporate Area office, Karen Isaacs told JIS News that under the Regular Refund Programme, contributions are refunded with interest during or after the eighth year of payment.
She informed that in applying for refunds persons could claim for all other years for which payments were due but were not collected. Contributions held for seven years are refunded at three per cent interest and those held for more than seven years, at eight per cent.
Contributors applying under this programme are required to provide a Taxpayer Registration Number (TRN) or National Insurance Scheme (NIS) number, contact number/s and the name/s of the company or companies worked at during the contribution period as well as name change information.
Meanwhile, special contribution refunds are paid to retirees 60 to 65 years old, invalidity pensioners, migrating expatriates and agents of deceased contributors. Special contribution refunds do not include amounts already claimed as regular contribution refunds or credited to the contributor’s loan account. “If you have a mortgage with the Trust, we wouldn’t give you a cheque refund but the amount would go to your outstanding balance,” Mrs. Isaacs noted.
She pointed out that unclaimed contribution refunds remain in a “savings account”, to which individuals could make claims once the contributions become due.
She explained that claiming contribution refunds did not prevent persons from obtaining a loan with the institution.
“What will happen after you have received your loan and you are paying mortgage directly to the NHT, is that the contribution refund amount will be transferred to the mortgage,” she noted.
Mrs. Isaacs said that for different categories of persons, specific documents are required. Invalidity pensioners are required to provide a pension booklet or an awards letter from the NIS office, complete with identification and proof of contribution.
Expatriates are expected to submit an income tax clearance letter and a one-way ticket or letter from their place of employment or an embassy indicating that they are leaving the country permanently.
For the retired persons, proof of age, identity and contribution as well as a final salary slip or verification letter from their employer are required.
In the case of a deceased contributor, the course of action is dependent on whether the person died leaving a will. In this case, the will would have to be probated and the claim made by the Executor. If the individual died intestate, individuals are required to complete document forms held by the NHT and supply the entity with proof of death, the funeral expense receipt and other documents, depending on the situation.
Mrs. Isaacs told JIS News that such individuals should contact the Trust to ascertain the procedures applicable to their situation.
She pointed out that persons could also authorize bearers to collect on their behalf, complete with a letter of authorization witnessed by a Justice of the Peace or a notary public.
“For example, if persons are abroad or they might be working out of town and are not able to come in the office, they can always give permission for somebody to come in and apply for them,” she informed.
Mrs. Isaacs said that processing took about 10 working days, or less in most situations.Contributions can be claimed at any of the offices islandwide. “Persons can come in at anytime to apply; we don’t have a cut-off period,” she said.