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Self-Employed Program

What is it?

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.

Who are self-employed persons?

All nationals and residents of St. Vincent and the Grenadines who are:

  • Between the ages of 16 and Pensionable Age
  • Gainfully occupied in their own business and not subject to direct control by another person or institution

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.

How do you Register?

The self-employed person must:

  • Complete a registration form (Form SE1) even if the person was already registered as an employed person.
  • Submit the form along with personal ID card, a copy of his/her passport or birth certificate and marriage certificate (if applicable).

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.

How and When do you Pay Contributions?

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 11.5% Monthly Income Monthly Contribution 11.5%
  $ $ $ $
A 1,200.00 138.00 5,200.00 598.00
B 1,100.00 126.50 4,767.00 548.21
C 1,000.00 115.00 4,333.00 498.30
D 840.00 96.60 3,640.00 418.60
E 720.00 82.80 3,120.00 358.80
F 600.00 69.00 2,600.00 299.00
G 480.00 55.20 2,080.00 239.20
H 360.00 41.40 1,560.00 179.40
I 240.00 27.60 1,040.00 119.60
J 120.00 13.80 520.00 59.80

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.

Payment Of Contribution

Contributions of 11.5% would be paid each week or month, based on the income category selected.

What are the Benefits?

The following benefits are available to self-employed persons:

When are you Eligible for a Pension?

Year of Birth Pensionable Age Required Contributions
1955 and before 60 500
1956-1957 61 550
1958-1959 62 600
1960-1961 63 650
1962-1963 64 700
1964 and after 65 750