A Contribution

A contribution refers to Social Security payment due for any eight hours or more of work in a contribution week .  A Social Security contribution week is from Monday to Sunday.

It is payable for all employees who are over fourteen years and under sixty five years for each contribution week during the whole or any part of which such person is employed in insurable employment.

The employer is liable to pay the total contribution due, both his or her own share and the share deducted from the employed person’s salary.

The contributions are payable by the employer by the 14th day of each month for the previous month.

The monthly contribution statement (FIN15A) is also due by the 14th day of each month for the previous month and must be submitted together with the contribution payment. Click here to download (FIN 15A )

RATE OF CONTRIBUTION

The weekly contribution is related to the weekly insurable earnings, which, in turn, are related to actual earnings.  For the convenience of employers who pay wages on a weekly basis, the first column in the Schedule of Contributions (below) shows that in the case of a worker whose weekly earnings are under $70.00, the weekly insurable earning is $55.00.  The weekly contribution rates payable by the employed person is $0.83 and by the employer is $3.57.
INSURABLE EARNINGS

Social Security insures a portion of your salary on which benefits are paid. Refer to the chart below to see the actual weekly earnings and the corresponding weekly insurable earnings.

PAYMENT OF CONTRIBUTIONS - RETIRED PERSONS - 60 YEARS OR OLDER

A contribution of $2.60 is payable by the employer only for employees who are between the ages of 60 – 64 years old who have received or are receiving Social Security Retirement Benefit.

A contribution of $2.60 is payable by the employer for employees who are 65 years and older. There is no deduction from the earnings of workers in both of these categories.

If an employed person attains the age of sixty five on a Monday, there is no liability for payment of contribution for that week of both employer and employee share.

The Social Security contributions of $2.60 which is payable by the employer provides the employees in both of these categories with coverage for Employment Injury Benefits, which include work-related prescribed diseases in accordance with the Classification Regulations.

An employer should NOT deduct Social Security Contributions from your salary.

MEANING OF 'EARNINGS'

Under the Social Security (Collection of Contributions) Regulations, 1980, the word “earnings” means gross earnings including:

a.     Overtime payments;

b.     Cost of living bonus;

c.     Family allowances or payments in respect of dependents;

d.     Supplements or rewards for long service, industry or efficiency payments;

e.     Production bonus or incentive pay, service charges;

f.      Commission on profits or sales;

g.     Gratuities paid by the employer other than those paid once a year;

h.    Money or other remuneration paid in consideration of dirty, obnoxious or dangerous work/conditions;

i.      Payments in respect of shift or night work;

j.      Amounts deducted from earnings under any law or contract of service in respect of free meals provided by the employer;

k.    Any tax or other liabilities of the employed person paid by the employer on his or her behalf; and

l.      Holiday pay or other amounts set aside out of the employed person’s earnings throughout the year or part of the year to be paid to him/her periodically or as a lump sum.

Any question concerning earnings is to be referred to the Social Security Board. The Board is empowered to give a final decision on such questions.

DEDUCTION OF CONTRIBUTION

On behalf of his or her workers, the employer finances a part of the contribution, and a portion is paid from the workers’ earnings.

The employer’s share of the contribution is to be paid by the employer.

The employee’s share of the contribution is deducted from his/her earnings at the time they are paid for the period for which the contribution is payable.

An employer who recovers or attempts to recover the employer’s share of the contribution from the employee earnings is guilty of an offense under the Social Security Act.

The employer is required to issue a receipt or pay slip to employees showing all sums deducted by the employer from the employee’s salary for Social Security contributions.

The employer has the right to recover the employed person’s share of the contribution but only by deduction from earnings at the time they are paid for the period for which the contribution is payable.  If the employer fails to make such deduction at the time the earnings are paid, he or she has no right to recover the employee’s share at a later date.

REMITTANCE OF CONTRIBUTION

The total amount of contribution due in respect of all employees employed during the month is to be paid to the Social Security Board not later than fourteen days after the end of the month for which the contributions are due.  When the 14th falls on a weekend or on a public and bank holiday, the deadline for payment is on the first working day after the weekend or pubic and bank holiday. An interest on unpaid or late contributions is charged when an employer fails to pay within the prescribed time.

Complete information regarding the employees on the FIN15A form enables the Board to post all contributions paid on behalf of the employees for the relevant period.

Incomplete statements may cause delay in the processing of benefit claims or disallowance of benefit claims made by employees.

The Social Security number of employees MUST be provided at all times; therefore, every employer must keep a register showing in respect of each person employed by him the following:

(a)   The full name, address and social security number

(b)   The dates of the commencement and termination of employment

(c)    The date and amount of each payment of earnings; and

(d)   The amount of weekly contribution deducted from earnings at each payment

Social Security has the right to inspect employers’ records and premises to ensure that contributions are being made for all employees at the correct rate based on earnings received.

CONTRIBUTIONS ERRONEOUSLY PAID

When a contribution has been paid in error, application for refund may be made to Social Security within two years from the end of the contribution year during which the contribution was paid. Refund to the Employer is credited towards future payment. Click here to download refund form (DP7).

  • Contribution is not payable in respect of any contribution week -

    a.      In which an employed person does not work and receives no remuneration; or

    b.      For each contribution week (Monday to Sunday) during which an employed person is receiving a credited contribution for benefits such as Sickness, Maternity (periodical payment before and after childbirth); Employment Injury Benefit under the Social Security Scheme. During that period, the required contribution will be paid on behalf of the insured contributor by the Social Security Board as a credited contribution.


WAGES PAID IN LIEU OF NOTICE

When wages are paid in lieu of notice, the employer is not liable for the payment of contribution for any week after the employment has come to an end.

CONTRIBUTION DURING LEAVE (FROM WORK)

Contributions are payable for the period during which an employee is on holiday and receives remuneration, whether such remuneration is paid before, during, or after the holiday.

VOLUNTARY CONTRIBUTIONS

  • Voluntary Contributions are weekly payments made by YOU (on your own behalf) as an insured contributor when you are no longer employed.

  • The weekly contribution rate is three and one fifth percent (3.2%) of his average weekly insurable earnings on the date when he/she has ceased to be an insured person.  The average weekly insurable earnings is the sum of the Insurable earnings in the best three years of contributions in the last fifteen years divided by 150. The rates may range from a minimum of $1.76 to a maximum of $10.24.

    • Retirement Benefit
    • Survivors’ Benefit
    • Funeral Grant

VOLUNTARY INSURANCE

  • A person shall be entitled to apply within 26 weeks after your last day of employment to the Chief Executive Officer for a Certificate of Voluntary Insurance to pay Voluntary Contributions.

    A Certificate of Voluntary Insurance shall entitle the Voluntary Contributor to pay contributions in respect of any week not earlier than (13) thirteen contribution weeks prior to the date of application, and of any week for which no contribution is otherwise payable by his or on her behalf.

    The conditions to be satisfied for a Certificate of Voluntary Insurance are that the person concerned:

    • is under 65 years of age; and
    • has not received a Retirement or Invalidity Benefit from Social Security; and
    • is ordinarily resident in Belize; and
    • no longer in insurable employment; and
    • has 150 paid contributions on his behalf since June 01, 1981.
  • It is very beneficial to an insured contributor to pay Voluntary Contributions because these payments:

    • prevent a break in your contribution payment; and
    • help you to qualify or increase your Retirement Benefit and benefits payable to your survivors
    • You may apply for Voluntary Insurance as soon as you cease to be employed or up to 26 weeks after your last day of employment.
    • To apply, go to any Social Security Office and request an application form for Voluntary Insurance.
    • Social Security will inform you by letter whether or not your application has been accepted and the amount you would have to pay.
SPECIAL NOTES

When submitting your Application for Voluntary Insurance, it is essential that you submit a list of all your past employers.  Social Security will need to do a research on your contributions history to see if you meet the qualifying conditions and it will speed up the processing of your application if you submit all necessary information.

You will get a response to your application within two weeks after the office receives your request.

Payments are to be made no later than fourteen days from the date specified in the letter that you would receive from Social Security.  However, if you are unable to pay on the due date, you must inform the Chief Executive Officer, who may reconsider and give you an additional four weeks in which to pay.

If your payments are more than six weeks late, you will need to reapply for Voluntary Insurance and will be required to work for an additional 50 contribution weeks in order to re-qualify.

WHAT HAPPENS IF YOU RETURN TO WORK

If you should return to work while making payments of Voluntary Contributions, you must inform Social Security immediately. You will be advised to cease payments, as your new Employer will then be responsible for payment of contributions on your behalf as an employee.

SELF EMPLOYED CONTRIBUTIONS

A self-employed person for Social Security’s purposes is a person gainfully occupied in employment in Belize who is not an employed person, is between the ages of 18 and 60 years, and has opted to join the Social Security Scheme.

Contributions to the Social Security Fund are paid solely by the Self Employed Insured Person for each week in respect of his employment. The amount payable is 7% of the weekly income declared by him subject to a minimum income of fifty-five dollars per week and a maximum income of three hundred and twenty dollars per week. For more information on Self Employed, click here.

REMITTANCE OF CONTRIBUTION

Self Employed contributions is to be paid to the Social Security Board not later than fourteen days after the end of the month for which the contributions are due.  When the 14th falls on a weekend or on a public and bank holiday, the deadline for payment is on the first working day after the weekend or pubic and bank holiday.

If the employment of a self employed person ceases or interrupted because of sickness, employment injury, pregnancy, change of employment status, or other circumstances which might affect his liability to pay contributions for the whole month, he shall be liable to pay contributions up to the day immediately before the date of interruption.

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