Age Benefit

What is Age Benefit?
Age Benefit is a cash benefit payable to an insured person who has reached the pensionable age and has satisfied the required contribution conditions. Age Benefit is either a pension or a grant.

What is Age Pension?
Age Pension is a monthly cash benefit payable to an insured person who meets the qualifying criteria, until death.

What is Age Grant?
Age Grant is a lump sum (one-time payment) payable to an insured person who does not satisfy the conditions for a pension but has attained the pensionable age and has not paid less than 52 weeks contribution or the monthly equivalent thereof.

How is Age Pension calculated?
The amount paid for Age Pension depends on the insured person’s average annual insurable earnings and the number of weekly contributions paid into the Fund. The average annual insurable earnings is the total earnings of the 5 best contribution years in the last 10 contribution years, immediately before reaching the pensionable age divided by five. Where the number of years contributed is less than five, the average will be used over those years.

Persons who apply before the pensionable age will be making an early age application. This will be subjected to a half percent reduction for every month the individual is away from the pensionable age.

The rate of pension is 25% of the average annual insurable earnings for the minimum contributions in accordance with the Schedule plus 1% for each 50 contributions thereafter up to a maximum of 50%. However, no pensioner shall receive less than $350.00 per month.

How is Age Grant calculated?
The amount paid for Age Grant is 75% of the total contributions (employee and employer) paid up to the pensionable year or $1,200 whichever is greater.

How should a claim for Age Benefit be made?
The claimant must make an appointment with the Social Security Office to be interviewed and to authorize the claim form. A Social Security card along with a valid birth certificate where both parents’ names are recorded or a passport is required to complete the process. If claimant is married or divorced the legal documentation must be submitted.

Claimants are encouraged to verify all documentation required to prevent delays in claim processing.

NB: Please note that all pensions payable to qualified applicants shall only be paid retroactively for one year from the date in which the application was made.

How and when is Age Pension paid?
Cheques are paid monthly, and may be mailed to the pensioner’s mailing address, or be paid into the pensioner’s bank account, or be paid to a person whom the pensioner has registered as the payee.

Once a person has begun to receive Age Pension, a life certificate MUST be submitted in order to continue receiving the monthly payments. The Life Certificate must be signed by any person listed on the Life Certificate. This activity should be done twice a year — June and December — for pensioners living in Antigua & Barbuda; and, every quarter — March, June, September and December — for pensioners living overseas.

A written authorization is required if a pension cheque must be paid to or collected by someone other than the pensioner. The person to whom the cheque is paid must also present the pensioner’s social security card.