JIS News

Employers are being urged to submit employees’ National Housing Trust (NHT) contributions, as failure to comply could result in fines and other penalties.
Assistant General Manager for Contribution Management at the Trust, Elton Vassell, addressing a Jamaica Chamber of Commerce (JCC)-organized seminar on ‘The NHT and the Employer: Finding Solutions,’ today (Sept. 12) at the Terra Nova hotel in Kingston, said that the non-submission of contributions could reduce the employees’ chances of receiving a mortgage loan or contribution refund.
“If the NHT is expected to deliver housing solutions to the market, it must collect contributions. Employees for whom the NHT benefits are really meant can be denied a home loan or their contribution refund if the payments that are deducted from their salaries are not remitted to the Trust,” Mr. Vassell pointed out.
“The Trust’s ability to offer improved benefits to its contributors and to boost construction in the local housing sector are greater reduced if it does not collect the contributions that are owed to it,” he added.
According to Mr. Vassell, compliance has always been a long standing problem for the NHT, not just to get employers to pay over employees’ contributions but to persuade those who have started to pay, to continue to do so. “Our figures show that the average rate of compliance between 2002 and 2006 was at a mere 50 per cent. It converts to the reality that only half of those who should be submitting NHT contributions to the Trust are doing so,” he stated.
The Assistant General Manager said that the NHT and the JCC must work together to find ways to get persons to become more compliant.
In the meantime, employers are being reminded that under the NHT Act, they are required to deduct two per cent of each eligible employee’s gross emoluments, which should be paid to the NHT by the 14th day of each month.
Employers are also required by law, to submit an annual return to the NHT by March 31 each year.
According to information from the NHT’s website, in order to qualify for any NHT loan, an individual must be between the age of 18 to 65 years old; be currently employed or self-employed; make payments to the Trust at the rate of two or three per cent of earnings; have at least 52 weekly contributions, 13 of which should have been made in the last 26 weeks, immediately preceding the application date; and earn no less than the minimum wage.

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