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Voluntary NIS contributions for self-employed
The Minister of Finance Larry Howai needs to further review the issue of NIS for self-employed people from the perspective of the self-employed. The payment of NIS by self-employed people should be voluntary and not compulsory.
There are many self-employed people such a myself who would be most willing to make all of the necessary contributions to the NIS scheme to ensure that we are eligible to receive the retirement benefit upon reaching age 65.
Initially venturing into the realm of being self-employed, I was not aware that voluntary contributions could have been made through the issuance of a Certificate of Voluntary Insurance within 18 months of the date of cessation of employment. (Source: Internet).
My attempts to restart paying into the NIS some four years after becoming self-employed were therefore, unsuccessful.
I am at present approximately 200 contributions short of the mandatory 750 contributions. I would therefore like the opportunity to make all outstanding contributions thereby ensuring that I will be eligible to receive monthly retirement benefit at 65.
The State should not subsidise the cost for older people who are self-employed to join the NIS scheme. This cost, which has been estimated to be $1.5 billion, is a cost that the State and the people of T&T cannot afford.
The operations of the NIB are very transparent. With other pension schemes there is no assurance of one’s monthly income at retirement. Initially, when approached by vendors, one is shown all these computer generated projections of estimated income dependent on one’s contributions. At retirement the income received is much lower than anticipated since one is told that from the monies that one was supposed to have got had to be deducted a sum for managing your finances, tax deductions or; the fund in which your money was invested simply did not perform as expected or; the financial entity has collapsed!
I therefore beseech the Minister of Finance to review the payment of NIS by self-employed people making it voluntary, and allowing self-employed people to receive retirement and other benefits based solely on the contributions they have made to the scheme.
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