Effective January 1, 1997, the St. Vincent and the Grenadines National Insurance Board has in principle agreed to extend coverage to all self-employed persons. This was done to provide protection for persons who have set up their own business ventures as a means of earning a livelihood, and at the same time providing employment for persons.
All nationals and residents of St. Vincent and the Grenadines who are:
Example of such persons are: vendors, contractors, sole proprietors, partners in companies, farmers, bus drivers and conductors, hairdressers, seamstresses, tailors, professionals such as Lawyers, Accountants, Doctors and other medical professionals.
A spouse engaged in trade or business for wages as a partner or in any similar arrangement is also considered to be self-employed.
The self-employed person must:
The self-employed person would be issued a registration card that bears an Identification Number. He/she will be identified for all National Insurance purposes by this number.
A person who is employed and self-employed simultaneously may pay contributions to bring his/her contributions up to the maximum specified ceiling under the NIS contribution regulations, provided his/her employer is not already paying contributions at that level.
At the time of registration, the self-employed person must select a category of income on which contributions will be paid.
The categories of income are listed below:
|Category||Weekly Income||Weekly Contribution||Monthly Income||Monthly Contribution|
The category that is selected will be valid for six months or a year. At the end of six months or a year the self-employed person will have the opportunity to select a category immediately above or below the initial one selected. The income band selected should be in line with the nature of the self-employed’s occupation.
If no selection is made by the required time each year, the self-employed person will be expected to pay contributions based on the category selected in the previous year.
The statutory age of registration according to the NIS Act# 33 of 1986 Section 18(5) is from 16 up to the Pensionable Age of the individual.
Management has allowed flexibility to accommodate persons over age 50, who have previous contributions to enter the Self-employed Programme as first-time registrants.
Contributions of 9.5% would be paid each week or month, based on the income category selected.
The following benefits are available to self-employed persons:
|Year of Birth||Pensionable Age||Required Contributions|
|1955 and before||60||500|
|1964 and after||65||750|