JIS News

Story Highlights

  • The importance of retirement planning and continuity of social security benefits between countries will be highlighted by the Ministry of Labour and Social Security (MLSS) at the sixth biennial Jamaica Diaspora Conference scheduled for June 13-18, 2015 at the Montego Bay Conference Centre in St. James.
  • Under the Reciprocal Social Security Agreement, Jamaicans can remit social security contributions and receive pension in the country in which they are living and working.
  • The Jamaica Diaspora Conference will be used to provide information on how the labour force in the Diaspora can participate and claim benefits.

The importance of retirement planning and continuity of social security benefits between countries will be highlighted by the Ministry of Labour and Social Security (MLSS) at the sixth biennial Jamaica Diaspora Conference scheduled for June 13-18, 2015 at the Montego Bay Conference Centre in St. James.

Through its Montego Bay Parish Office, the Ministry will showcase the benefits of the National Insurance Scheme (NIS), with special emphasis on the Social Security Reciprocal Agreements signed between Jamaica and partner countries.

Under the Reciprocal Social Security Agreement, Jamaicans can remit social security contributions and receive pension in the country in which they are living and working.

The Agreement provides for pooling of contributions, and seeks to ensure that persons do not lose benefits because of relocation to another territory.

Jamaica has Reciprocal Social Security Agreements with:

• United Kingdom

• Canada

• Quebec

• CARICOM countries (Antigua & Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, St Kitts & Nevis, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Montserrat, St. Lucia, Trinidad & Tobago and St. Vincent & the Grenadines)

Jamaica’s first reciprocal agreement was with the UK and this came into force on October 1, 1972. This was followed by Canada on January 1, 1984, and Quebec on January 1, 1989. The CARICOM Agreement on Social Security was signed at Georgetown, Guyana, on March 1, 1996 and came into effect on April 1, 1997.

Some of the benefits paid under the Agreements include Retirement (Old Age) Pension, Invalidity Pension and Survivor’s Benefits.

The Jamaica Diaspora Conference will be used to provide information on how the labour force in the Diaspora can participate and claim benefits.

Participants will be reminded to register with the NIS as a part of their retirement planning, and make regular contributions in order to be afforded coverage. A permanent record is maintained for each person registered under the Scheme and a NI number designated to each contributor.

The Ministry monitors and enforces the various Reciprocal Social Security Agreements through the International Social Security (ISS) Unit.

Over the years, the NIS has evolved as a crucial component of the country’s social safety net programme. Currently, the NIS has over 110,000 pensioners, with approximately 102,000 based locally and 8,000 overseas. During the 2013/2014 financial year, the Ministry disbursed benefits valued at over J$14.72 Billion.