Here you can find answers to common questions related to contributions payable to the Social Security Board.
What are Contribution Deductions?
At the end of each pay period, contributions must be deducted from employees’ wages/salaries. Effective 1st January 2021, contribution rate increased to 14% of insurable earnings for private sector workers; of which the employee pays 6% and the employer pays 8%. For public sector workers, the contribution rate was increased to 13% of insurable earnings; of which the employee pays 5% and the employer pays 8%. The maximum annual insurable earnings is $78,000 ($6,500 per month; $3,000 per fortnight; or $1,500 per week). In addition to salaries/wages, the earnings of an employee on which contributions are payable include overtime payments, vacation pay, cost of living bonus, housing allowance, shift work, holiday pay, bonuses, commissions, service charge, and danger or dirt money.
At what point should deductions on earnings commence?
Deductions should be made from the initial wages or salary i.e. during the period of probation.
What should be on the monthly remittance Form [R5A Forms]?
Contribution payments must be paid when the monthly Remittance Form (R5A) is submitted and clearly indicates:
- The name and registration number of the employer;
- The names and social security numbers of all employees and the month for which payment is being made;
- If there are weekly or fortnightly paid employees, the amount earned for each week or fortnight should be indicated;
- The insurable earnings and total contributions;
- The total gross salary/wage;
- Vacation and/or Sickness periods should be noted; and
- The name and signature of the authorizing officer or employer’s representative.
What are the penalties for incomplete information on R5A Forms?
If an employer submits an incomplete or incorrect R5A Form during the contribution month, the ABSSB charges a fee of $100.00 per incorrect page.
When should contributions be remitted?
All employers are required to pay Social Security contributions within 14 days after the end of the preceding month. Where the 14th falls on a weekend or public holiday, payments must be made by the next business day after the 14th to avoid the late fee charge of 10% of the amount owed.
What are some of the ways to pay contributions to the Social Security?
Social Security contributions can be made payable via:
- Cashiers – London House Branch
- Drop Box – London House and Royal Palm Branches
- Electronic Funds Transfer
- Antigua Commercial Bank Online Banking
- Eastern Caribbean Amalgamated Bank MoreBanking
When are contributions not payable?
Contributions are not payable during periods when an employee is receiving Sickness Benefit or Maternity Benefit; or on Severance Pay; or Travelling Allowance.
However, Contributions are payable on uncertified sick days.
What are the penalties for non-payment of contributions?
Payments that are not made within the prescribed time will be subjected to a surcharge of 10% of the total contributions payable. Additionally, legal action may be taken against employers who fail to pay within the prescribed time.
At what age should Employers cease remittance of Social Security contributions?
There is no national retirement age in Antigua & Barbuda. However, there’s a Social Security pensionable age which is no longer fixed. As of 1st January 2021, the pensionable age moved to 63 years; and, will incrementally increase every two years until 2025, pursuant to Statutory Instrument 2016 No. 61, Social Security (Benefits) (Age Pensions and Grants) (Amendment) Regulations. However, at age 60 – the insured person can choose to activate an early pension arrangement.
What happens where an employee has more than one employer?
Where an employee works concurrently for more than one employer – each employer is required to pay the Social Security contributions with respect to the wages paid to that employee up to the social security ceiling of $6,500 monthly, $3,000 fortnightly and $1,500 weekly
Is there any redress in the event of excess contribution payments?
Yes. Any excess contributions paid in error are refundable on application to the Director.
Can employees verify the remittance of their contributions?
An employee who makes a request in person at the Social Security Office and provides proof of identity can find out if his/her employer is making the required contributions on his/her behalf.
What is required if I wish to get information on my contribution status?
Persons seeking information on their contribution status, must make a request in writing to the Director stating the Social Security number and the period requested. This is called a contribution history letter and has a fee of $30.00.