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Frequently Asked Questions


Why must I register?

Registration is mandatory and allows the NIS to assign a unique NIS number to each insured person in order to provide a record of contributions and benefits, based on that number.

What if my employer refuses to register me?

Report the matter to the NIS immediately. We will investigate and ensure that your registration is effected. Every employer is required by law to register his/her employees within 7 days of employment. Failure to do so would result in summary conviction or a fine.

What if I do not provide the details and registration documents for my employer to register me?

Every employee must furnish his/her employer with correct personal information necessary for the completion of the application for registration within 7 days of employment. Failing this, the employee is liable to a fine. However, NIS deductions must be made by the employer and paid to the NIS.

Who is considered an employee?

An employee is a person who performs services under a contract of service or apprenticeship.  Further, under the NIS Legislation an employee is someone who:

  • Is wholly or mainly engaged and is remunerated by salary (cash over $15 a week, or kind)
  • Engages in full time, part time, or temporary employment
  • Is between the ages of 16 and NIS’ pensionable age
If I employ my spouse, should I register him/her also?
A spouse employed under a contract of service or as a partner of his/her spouse for less than 16 hours in any contribution week should be registered as a self-employed person.
If my registration information changes, how soon should I contact the NIS?
Report it immediately. An insured person who has changed surname (by way of marriage or deed poll) or address needs to visit the office and bring along the supporting documents.
If I change employer, should I do a new registration?
No. You are assigned one number during your lifetime. If you change employment, then you must present your NIS number to your new employer.


What are NIS contributions?
A contribution is a weekly payment fixed in relation to the wages/salaries of the insured person.
Who is responsible for paying contributions?

Both the employer and the employee pay the NIS contributions. The employee pays 4.5% of his/her wage/salary and this is matched by 5.5% by the employer.

What are Earnings?

For National Insurance purposes, earnings include salary/wages, overtime payment, payment for night or shift work, arrears on salary, holiday pay, family allowances, bonuses, gratuities, commission, service charge, payments in kind and danger money.

Is NIS payable on severance payment?

No. Severance payment is exempt from NIS deductions.

If my employer deducts my contributions and does not pay it to the NIS, what is my recourse?
Report the matter to the NIS immediately. The information would be kept confidential and an investigation would be done by the Compliance Division. Should our investigations reveal that the employer failed to pay the contributions, he/she would be required to pay the outstanding contributions, plus penalty.
If I am in receipt of an Age Pension and continue to work, am I required to pay contributions?

No you are not required to pay any contributions. Once you are re-employed, your employer is required to pay .5% of your salary for employment injury.

If I overpay contributions, would I get a refund?

Yes, both you and your employer. However, you are required to write to the NIS requesting the refund within two years from the date on which the contribution was paid.

I operate a small business, can I get registered and pay contributions?

Yes. You can register under the Self-Employed Programme and pay contributions. There is a flexible contribution plan from which you can select. You are encouraged to select a category that best fits your monthly income.

I am no longer formally employed, can I continue paying my contributions?

Yes. You can continue paying as either:

  • A voluntary contributor, but this must be done within three months of cessation of employment.

  • A self-employed until you attain the NIS pensionable age. You would be required to complete a new registration form for that programme, but your NIS number would be retained.
Can the NIS recover contributions from an employer on prosecution?

Yes, if convicted the employer is liable to pay the amount which he failed to pay.


For how long should a man and woman be living together (cohabiting) before she can claim a Maternity Grant on his contributions?
The NIS Benefits legislation states clearly that the man and the woman must live in a common-law relationship in the same house for at least three years. Only one woman can claim on her “husband’s “contribution.
What are the eligibility conditions for a Funeral Grant?
Person must be insured for at least twenty-six contribution weeks and must have paid at least twenty-six weekly contributions.
Are stepchildren entitled to Survivors’ benefit?
Yes, Survivor’s benefit is payable to all the unmarried children of a deceased insured person who were, maintained by him/her at the time of death. Children include adopted children, stepchildren and children born out of wedlock.
Can an insured claim Survivor’s benefit after remarriage?
No, a Survivor’s pension payable to a widow or widower will cease if he/she re-marries or live together with a man or woman in the same house for at least three years.
For how long an insured claim sickness benefit can?
A sickness benefit can be claimed as long as the sickness continues, but up to a maximum of 26 weeks for one continuous period of that illness.
When does an employee become eligible for an employment injury benefit?
An employee becomes eligible for employment injury benefit from the first day at work if he/she becomes incapable of work as a result of an injury or occupational disease at the workplace.
Do I have to name a beneficiary for my NIS Survivor’s benefit?
No, The NIS Act allows for Survivor’s Benefit to the widow or widower, or the children of a deceased insured person, who at the time of death received age or invalidity pension; would have been eligible for an invalidity pension or grant; attained pensionable age and would have been entitled to an age pension or grant if he/she had made such a claim.
What happens to the benefits of single persons when they die?
If a single person dies without any beneficiaries (children or common law spouse), a benefit shall be payable to a dependent parent, if any, who has attained pensionable age and who received at least 50% of his/her money for sustenance from the deceased insured person. That benefit is payable for life.
Do I have to submit my NIS sickness claim form to my employer?
A claim for sickness benefits along with a copy of the medical certificate should be submitted to the National Insurance Office within 15 days of receipt of the said certificate.
What are the eligibility conditions for an Invalidity Benefit?
(1) A certificate from a doctor establishing invalidity, (2) the insured person must not attain pensionable age, and (3) the insured person must have paid at least 150 weekly contributions.