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Director of the National Insurance Scheme (NIS), Portia Magnus. (FILE)
Photo: File Photo

Story Highlights

  • Persons receiving retirement pension payments under the National Insurance Scheme (NIS) will soon be required to have a bank account.
  • NIS Director, Portia Magnus, tells JIS News that the plan is to have all NIS pensioners receiving their funds through direct deposits into their accounts.
  • “That is where we will be going,” she says.

Persons receiving retirement pension payments under the National Insurance Scheme (NIS) will soon be required to have a bank account.

NIS Director, Portia Magnus, tells JIS News that the plan is to have all NIS pensioners receiving their funds through direct deposits into their accounts.

“That is where we will be going,” she says.

“Gradually we are shifting. The Government is moving more and more from paper, which is time-consuming and costly, and going more electronic, and so, overtime, you will see that the pension order books are going to be phased out,” she points out.

Persons now receive their benefits through the pension order book, a cheque, bank draft and direct deposit to a bank account.

Ms. Magnus tells JIS News that once the resources are in place, the Ministry will implement direct deposit on a wider scale to existing pensioners.

“So, already on the new application form, persons are required to provide their banking information,” she points out.
For the pension order book, persons receive a voucher/cheque book with 13 leafs.

“Each voucher is predated and it’s two weeks apart. So you can encash a voucher every two weeks, or as you feel, because they actually become dated after six months like a cheque. But the date is every two weeks,” Ms. Magnus explains.

For the direct payments into the bank accounts, she points out that the regular payment is usually on the 15th of the month, “so you get one amount every month in the middle of the month”.

Pensioners who want the option to receive their payments through their bank accounts can do so by completing a Direct Deposit Form available at the Ministry of Labour and Social Security parish offices or downloading the form from the Ministry’s website, www.mlss.gov.jm.

“Now, if an existing pensioner does that, what will happen is that at the end of the month, they will get – depending on when the pension order book finishes – a certain amount deposited to their account at the end of the month. Then you will have regular payment beginning monthly,” Ms. Magnus says.

The NIS is a compulsory contributory funded social security scheme, covering all employed persons in Jamaica.
Administered under the National Insurance Act, it offers some financial protection to the worker and his or her family against loss of income arising from injury on the job, sickness, retirement and/or death of the breadwinner.

Today, the NIS provides benefits to over 124,000 persons and represents a 12.6 per cent increase over the previous financial year.

The scheme administers a number of benefits, one of which is the retirement pension, and in order to benefit from this, the contributor must attain the retirement age defined by the National Insurance Act and satisfy the contribution requirements. This benefit is payable during the life of the pensioner.

All persons between the ages of 18 and 70, who are gainfully occupied in insurable employment are required to be registered with the NIS.

The insurable population includes employed persons, self-employed persons and voluntary contributors.